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School Bus Driver Rescued After Being Trapped Under Bus - Highway 35 near Odell Junction
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

A Hood River County School District bus driver rescued Tuesday afternoon after the bus slid and trapped her while she was outside of it on the side of Highway 35 near the Odell Junction is in fair condition at a Portland area hospital. Oregon State Police (OSP) and Hood River County Sheriffs Office are continuing the investigation

On January 17, 2012 at approximately 3:00 p.m. Hood River County School District bus driver MERIDITH A. COLE, age 38, was transporting four students northbound on Highway 35 when she pulled the bus onto the shoulder near milepost 94 to inspect a possible broken tire chain. While outside the bus, it slid sideways trapping her face down in the snow underneath the door.

Hood River County Sheriffs Office, Odell Fire Department and OSP troopers responded to the scene. With the assistance of a Hood River Towing tow truck traveling through the area on another call, emergency personnel raised the bus off COLE and removed her. She was trapped for about 50 minutes.

COLE was initially transported by ambulance to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital. She was later transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where she is in fair condition this morning.

According to Hood River County School District, the children were picked up from the scene and taken to Mid Valley Elementary where their parents were contacted. They were not injured.

Questions for Hood River School District should be directed to Robert Dais at (503) 387-5016.