Cool heads prevail in school bus accident


News staff writer

November 29, 2006

Six children and the driver were unhurt in a dramatic school bus accident Tuesday morning at Oak and 13th streets.

Bus driver Bobbi Reisner tried to stop coming down 13th but the bus slid through the intersection just after 9 a.m., and Reisner somehow missed a semi truck stopped at the intersection and steered the bus through a narrow space between the Prater’s Motel sign and a street sign, and missed hitting the east end of the motel.

The bus went into the ravine after knocking aside two dumpsters, ending tipped on its front.

“She really threaded the needle,” said witness Garth Harding of Hood River, who said he saw Reisner slide through the intersection.

“I thought for sure she was going to take out my car and hit the motel. It was amazing.”

With the help of passers-by, the children got out of the bus and were taken inside the motel office. School was on two-hour late schedule Tuesday, after being closed all day Monday.

“The kids stayed really calm,” said Richard Hallman of Hood River, who was having coffee a block away at Acre Coffee and ran to help.

“It was kind of scary, especially since I was in the front seat,” said fifth-grader Zach Tecklenburg.

“The first thing they said was, ‘Are you okay, Bobbi?’” said Reisner, who has driven bus for more than 30 years. “They all followed my safety instructions,” she said.

Prater’s Manager Debbie Schroeder took in Reisner and the kids until another bus could come for the children.

“I saw her coming. It was so icy. I could tell she was trying to come to a stop but she just couldn’t,” Shroeder said.

“I guess that’s what comes from driving (bus) for Mt. Hood Meadows,” Reisner said.

According to police, the accident is still under investigation.

Traffic at Oak and 13th was interrupted for about two-and-a-half hours, until 11:30 a.m., as tow trucks worked to pull the bus from the ravine. Damage to the bus appeared limited primarily to the baggage section, but some front-end damage is possible, according to Jim Gray, district transportation manager.

The hill was not the only slippery on in the area. The Frankton grade west of Hood River proved nearly impassable late Tuesday morning until sanders made another run up the hill.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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