A Bend La Pine school bus hit ice and crashed with nine students on board Wednesday morning. Several students were injured.
The school bus accident occurred Wednesday morning on the Crescent Cutoff Road about halfway between Highway 97 and Highway 58.
The bus was heading west from La Pine high school toward Willamette Pass on a trip to Albany.
“We had nine students and a teacher who were headed to a welding competition at Linn Benton Community College,” said Scott Maben, Communications Director for Bend-La Pine Schools. “On the Crescent Cutoff Road, the driver hit a patch of black ice. The bus slid off the roadway and into a steep ditch. The rear of the bus hit a tree. Shaved that tree off and then turned over onto its side.”
Maben said at least three students were injured.
Oregon State Police said seven of the children were transported to the hospital for precautionary reasons, one of whom had what was described as “a more significant non-life-threatening injury.” All were released.
Some of the students went back to classes, others spent the day with their families.
“The students on the bus did exactly what we expect them to do in a situation like this. They, within seconds, they had the rear emergency exit door open and they were able to get out of the bus quickly and safely on their own,” Maben said.
The teacher, bus driver and those students who were not injured were transported back to La Pine High School.
They were met by Superintendent Steven Cook who offered any needed support.
“We drill on bus safety at the start of the school year with all students who ride our busses,” Maben said. “These are high school students. They’ve probably been through that training a number of years now. They knew exactly what to do. We are so proud of how they responded.”
Oregon State Police are investigating the crash.