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Details on deadly Oregon bus crash emerging

Dec 31, 2012

Just more than a dozen people who were aboard the tour bus that slid off an icy Interstate 84 in Oregon this past weekend have made preparations to finish their journey home to Canada. Nine people died on Sunday when their tour bus slid off the highway and down a slope.

According to a report, some of the passengers who survived the crash were preparing on Tuesday to go home to Canada, collecting their passports and what remains of their personal effects that they had on their 9-day trip with them and another 14 are still in hospitals in three different states recovering from the serious injuries they suffered in the crash.

Previous reports indicate that the tour bus was traversing the area of I-84 near Pendleton, Ore., on Sunday morning when it encountered an icy stretch dubbed by locals as "Dead Man's Pass" and slid through a guard rail and down a slippery embankment. Rescuers were forced to literally haul bodies from the wreck back up the slope so they could be transported to local hospitals for treatment.

The latest report indicates the bus was 200 feet from the highway and much of the passengers' personal belongings was strewn along the hillside. The passengers who were healthy enough to be out there on Tuesday were allowed to comb the hillside where the bus slid one-by-one to look for their property.

The bus was headed to Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and was on the final leg of its nine-day tour. The group on board, a total of at least 47, had previously stopped in Las Vegas as the final part of their holiday travel excursion. They were due back in Canada on Sunday.

Because some of the passengers told a local chapter of the American Red Cross that they couldn't stand to get on another tour bus following the incident to finish their journey back to Canada, Fox reports that a local car dealership offered to take those passengers across the border at no charge in smaller vehicles. As many of the passengers aboard the tour bus were Korean-Canadian, the local community in Pendleton has attempted to offer them some of their traditional foods as they await clearance to return to Canada.

Federal highway officials were on the scene of the crash on New Year's Day to determine what exactly caused the crash. The bus driver, according to a previous report, had sustained too serious of injuries and could not fully recount the crash on Monday. 

Only one of the nine victims has been identified. He is a Washington state man who had his wife on board with him for the trip. The man's wife survived the crash but remained hospitalized.

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