News agencies are reporting that Sunday morning, around 10:30 AM, a tour bus from Vancouver, British Columbia crashed on Interstate 84. The crash occurred near Pendleton, Oregon in the Deadman’s pass area. At this time, 9 people have been killed and 26 more were take to the hospital with a wide range of injuries. When the crash occurred, the tour bus of 40 Canadian passengers was on its way from Las Vagas back to British Columbia.
One of the tragic aspects of this fatal crash is that more often than not, tour bus crashes such as this one are preventable. Motor Carriers of Passengers, such as tour buses like this one, are required by Federal Trucking Regulations to take specific precautions to protect the lives of their passengers in order to avoid tragedies such as this one. One simple rule is traveling at speeds consistent with road conditions. With the tour bus breaking through the guardrail and careening down some 200 feet down Deadman’s Pass, on an otherwise straight stretch of I-84, it is horribly likely the driver’s speed was merely too fast for the icy conditions.
It will take weeks for authorities to sift through the evidence and black box data to determine the causes of this fatal tour bus crash. While it is no comfort to those who are seriously injured, nor for the families of the passengers killed in this crash, one can only hope the tour bus driver did everything in their power to avoid this fatal crash.
Please remember to drive safely. Icy and snowy conditions can compromise a driver’s ability to keep their vehicle on the road. Simple precautions can reduce your risk of being in a crash this winter. When road conditions worsen, driving with your hands at the 10-2 or 9-3 positions can greatly increase your control of the car. Your grip on the wheel should be firm, but not too firm. If your knuckles turn white you’re gripping too hard. When dangerous and icy conditions demand your full attention, limit distractions such as the radio and even talking to passengers. Not only are the lives of you and your own passengers at great risk, but the lives of others on the roadway as well.