Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Update from Oregon State Police: The 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. The injured driver’s name is released in this update. 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.
Oregon State Police (OSP) and Hood River County Sheriff's Office are on scene investigating an incident involving a Hood River County School District bus that either rolled or slid onto and trapped the bus driver while outside inspecting the bus. The incident occurred along Highway 35 near the Odell Junction. The bus driver has been transported to an area hospital with injuries believed to be not life threatening.
Preliminary information indicates on January 17, 2012 at approximately 3:00 p.m. a school district bus driver transporting four students was northbound on Highway 35 when the female driver pulled the bus onto the shoulder near milepost 94 to inspect a possible broken tire chain. While outside of the bus, it either rolled or slid onto the driver trapping her.
Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Odell Fire Department and OSP troopers responded to the scene. With the assistance of a Hood River Towing tow truck that was traveling through the area on another call, the tow truck lifted the bus off the trapped driver. Investigators estimate she was trapped under the bus for approximately 50 minutes.
The bus driver was transported by ambulance to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital for treatment. Her name may be released tomorrow.
No other information to be released at this time pending the ongoing investigation.
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Kiteboarders in action during the pro competition Friday at the 16th Annual Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest in Stevenson. All photos by Ben Mitchell. Enlarge