PENDLETON, Ore. – Nine people were killed and 39 others were injured when a charter bus slid on ice and crashed down an embankment on Interstate 84 near Pendleton Sunday morning, police and fire officials said.
Just before 10:30 a.m., a charter bus carrying around 40 people lost control on the icy westbound lanes of the interstate. The bus then crashed through a guardrail near milepost 227 and went down an embankment, said Lt. Gregg Hastings with Oregon State Police.
The bus traveled an estimated couple hundred feet before coming to a rest, Hastings said. Crews trained for rope rescues were at the scene helping retrieve people from the wreckage.
St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton confirmed 18 patients were brought in Sunday. Many of the patients were taken by air to other hospitals due to the severity of their injuries, Hastings said. Four people were taken to OHSU in Portland.
The bus was reportedly a charter from Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Vancouver, British Columbia and was en route to British Columbia from Las Vegas.
The victims names were not released pending notification of their families. Police expected to release more details Monday afternoon.
Multiple emergency crews from different agencies were on the scene and three medical aircraft were standing by at the Pendleton-area airport to transport people to hospitals.
The bus crash was the second fatal crash in northeast Oregon on Sunday morning, due to icy conditions. A 69-year-old man died in a rollover crash at about 7:30 a.m. on I-84 near Stanfield.