Topic: bus crash
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May 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM
Ken Rotta, whose parents died when the SUV he was driving was hit by a bus Monday in Kirkland, says reality is just beginning to sink in.
He says he’s been on ”a little bit of a roller coaster” emotionally, and has been viewing the tragedy through faith, that his parents are together in heaven.
“It’s hard to explain, all I can think is it was God’s timing for them to go. I haven’t really gone too far beyond that,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday.
Rotta was driving on the Northeast 128th Street overpass when a Sound Transit bus leaving Interstate 405 apparently went through a red light and struck the SUV’s right side. His parents, Robert Rotta, 76, and Elizabeth Rotta, 75, were killed. Ken Rotta suffered a broken rib in the crash.
The Rottas had just left the Kirkland home of Ken’s brother, Phil and his wife, Laura. They were on the overpass, heading toward a Denny’s restaurant in the Totem Lake shopping area.
“The light was green, I looked over the intersection, it looked fine. I was looking ahead to see how I was going to navigate our turn. Just as I was going through the intersection someone cried, ‘Look Out!’ ” said Ken Rotta.
He says he glanced to the right and saw “that big square” — the front of the bus. After the crash, a bystander gave him a phone to call 911, but he passed out during the call.
There are a few other gaps in his memory of what happened immediately after the impact, he said.
A Washington State Patrol investigation is expected to last two more weeks. The bus driver, Aleksander Rukhlin of Everett, is on paid administrative leave.
Rukhlin told troopers the brakes failed, and the WSP says Rukhlin showed no signs of being impaired. The bus passed a routine safety check a week before. Before the safety check, there had been a complaint that the bus pulled to the right, according to the log of the safety check.
Rotta says he hopes “the bus company and the driver are doing well. I know it’s a terrible emotional toll on these folks.”
A funeral for Rotta’s parents is scheduled for 2 p.m., June 1 at Westminster Chapel in Bellevue, 13646 N.E. 24th St., the family said.
May 8, 2013 at 5:24 PM
An old Chevy van and a King County Metro bus collided at the intersection of Pike Street and Boren Avenue in Seattle Wednesday afternoon, sending three people to Harborview Medical Center.
Witnesses told Seattle police that the gray van traveling northbound on a steep downhill portion of Boren Avenue was running a red light when it struck a Metro bus traveling eastbound on a green light at about 4:45 p.m.
Medics took the male driver and female passenger of the van out of the vehicle and took them to Harborview in stable condition, said Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore. But Seattle police said their injuries were at least initially life-threatening.
“They were in bad shape and not moving when I saw them,” said Joan Patrie, who was biking to her nearby home when she saw medics respond to the scene.
A woman in the bus was also taken to Harborview with minor injuries, according to Sgt. Grant Ballingham of the Seattle Police Department.
Passengers of the Metro bus were evacuated and transferred to another bus, but the crash created backups for several Metro lines and other drivers in the area during rush hour. As of 7 p.m., King County Metro was still re-routing buses to avoid the intersection.
Ballingham said, per standard procedure, a DUI detective has been sent to Harborview to interview the driver of the van. The van was filled with belongings, and its rear windows were covered with gray paint.
January 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM
The U.S. Department of Transportation ordered a Canadian tour company that operated the bus that crashed and killed nine people — several from the Puget Sound region — in Oregon early last week, to cease operations in the United States.
USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration investigators found that before the crash, Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Coquitlam, B.C., had violated several safety regulations that may have made the Dec. 30 crash more likely to happen.
The company had not been recording its drivers’ hours of driving time, rest breaks and off-duty periods as mandated by U.S. safety regulations. According to a USDOT statement, the company had ”established a pattern and practice of scheduling and dispatching drivers on trips without regard to hours of service requirements.”
In the case of the man who drove the bus off of Interstate 84, Haeng Kyu Hwang had worked 92 hours in the seven days preceding the crash–well beyond the 70-hour maximum hours of service per week permitted under federal regulations.
The company had also been fined several times for a failure to meet drug and alcohol testing requirements. USDOT fined the company more than once in 2010 and suspended its operations for two months in 2011 until it paid another fine that year.
January 1, 2013 at 10:17 AM
2013 and still kicking, aren’t you: Things we’ll be hearing about that we’re tired of hearing about or don’t want to hear about or glad we don’t have to hear about (you pick): the fiscal cliff, cancellations of the North Line of the Sounder train between Seattle and Everett, snow in the lowlands, snow in the ski areas, the governor’s race, May Day violence and the number of Seattle homicides going up.
Darn cold last night, yeah? A lot of folks woke up to freezing fog and temperatures in the 20s, some as low as 26 degrees. Ouch. A lot of you probably didn’t have to go to work today so no scraping of ice off the car wind0ws for you. For some of us, not so much. But there’s sun out there now and it’s supposed be sunny tomorrow.
The Oregon bus crash: There are many people who have a story to tell about this tragic incident. Some of the survivors, and apparently some of those who died, are from the Seattle area. We’ll post the news as it becomes available.
Shell drilling rig runs aground: The rig broke loose overnight and drifted onto the rocks on an island in Alaska. The rig was being towed down here and high winds and high seas broke its connections to the tugs that were towing it. The Coast Guard and others are monitoring the situation and everyone is hoping the 139,000 gallons of diesel fuel on board doesn’t leak.
Stories trending this morning on seattletimes.com:
- Bill to avert fiscal cliff heads to House
- Reid among 7 NFL coaches sacked in firing frenzy
- Practice makes perfect for Seahawks when they need it | Steve Kelley
- Seahawks prove they’re ready for more
- At CenturyLink, plenty of drinking and trash talk but few bullies
Nick Provenza: 206-464-2142 or email@example.com. On Twitter @NickProvenza1
December 30, 2012 at 2:10 PM
This post was updated at 7:05 p.m. Death toll stands at nine.
The Associated Press
PENDLETON, Ore. (AP)– A tour bus careened through a guardrail along an icy Oregon highway and several hundred feet down a steep embankment Sunday, killing nine people and injuring more than 20 others, authorities said.
The charter bus carrying about 40 people lost control around 10:30 a.m. on the snow- and ice-covered lanes of Interstate 84, according to the Oregon State Police.
The bus came to rest at the bottom of a snowy slope. More than a dozen rescue workers descended the hill and used ropes to help retrieve people from the wreckage in freezing weather. The bus driver was among the survivors, but had not yet spoken to police because of the severity of the injuries the driver had suffered.
Lt. Greg Hastings said the bus crashed along the west end of the Blue Mountains, and west of an area called Deadman Pass. Stretches of highway in the rural and agricultural area of east Oregon tend to be icy in winter months.
The bus slid down the hill and landed upright, with little or no debris visible around the crash site.
St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton treated 26 people from the accident, including some who were treated and then transported to other medical facilities, said hospital spokesman Larry Blanc.
In addition to the people who were transferred from St. Anthony to La Grand and Hermiston, Ore., and Walla Walla, Wash., Hastings said. Others were taken directly to hospitals further away, including Boise, Idaho, and Portland, Ore.
I-84 is a major east-west highway through Oregon that follows the Columbia River Gorge.
Umatilla County Emergency Manager Jack Remillard said the bus was owned by Mi Joo travel in Vancouver, B.C., and state police said the bus was en route from Las Vegas to Vancouver.
A woman who answered the phone at a listing for the company confirmed with The Associated Press that it owned the bus and said it was on a tour of the Western U.S. She declined to give her name.
A bus safety website run by the U.S. Department of Transportation said Mi Joo Tour & Travel has six buses, none of which have been involved in any accidents in at least the past two years.
The bus crash was the second fatal accident in Oregon on Sunday morning. A 69-year-old man died in a rollover accident.
A spokesman for the American Bus Association said buses carry more than 700 million passengers a year in the United States.
“The industry as a whole is a very safe industry,” said Dan Ronan of the Washington, D.C.,-based group. “There are only a handful of accidents every year. Comparatively speaking, we’re the safest form of surface transportation.”
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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