Share This Page

Survivors of tour bus crash begin painful journey home

| Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, 7:46 p.m.

PENDLETON, Ore. — Some of the survivors of a fatal bus crash on a rural Oregon highway retrieved their passports and other belongings on Tuesday so they can finish their journey to Canada.

At least 14 survivors remained hospitalized in three states after the weekend crash that killed nine and injured 38 others. State police escorted others one by one to collect their property, which was strewn across a hillside as the tour bus careened 200 feet from a partly icy roadway Sunday.

The bus was returning to Vancouver, British Columbia, on the final leg of a nine-day tour of the western United States. The trip was organized by a British Columbia travel agency to carry tourists traveling in small groups. Most of the passengers were Korean.

The Red Cross said some of the survivors were too terrified to get on another bus, so a nearby Ford dealer offered to drive them in smaller passenger vehicles. Some were expected to begin the trip on Wednesday.

“The pieces are kind of getting into place about getting back to normal, and they want to go home,” said Mary Naman, a registered nurse from Portland working with the American Red Cross to help survivors.

Red Cross workers are helping about 15 survivors who remain in Pendleton, trying to make them as comfortable as possible while they wait for police to release their belongings and for the logistics of their return trip to be worked out. One local volunteer, who is Korean, planned to make traditional Korean food for them, Naman said.

Many of the survivors did not know each other before the trip but have supported each other and formed a close bond through shared experience, said Sandy Ramirez, a Red Cross psychologist.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.