7/24/2014

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Crash involving several vehicles, including a tour bus, snarls I-405

Crash involving several vehicles, including a tour bus, snarls I-405
A look at the scene from Jet Ranger 2.
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PORTLAND, Ore. - A crash involving a tour bus and several other vehicles brought traffic to a standstill in the downtown Portland area Friday afternoon.

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. where Interstate 405 and Highway 26 meet up. All of the northbound lanes of I-405 were immediately shut down following the wreck. Traffic was later getting by, but the freeway remained highly congested through the early evening commute.

"Anytime you take this major intersection out of commission, there are going to be problems out there," said Don Hamilton with the Oregon Department of Transportation.

According to Portland Fire and Rescue, two people were transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries - the driver of the bus and another person from one of the other vehicles.

"As soon as I got off the highway I saw about three or four cars that had also been involved - just pushed one right into the other," said Christian Fry, a passenger on the tour bus. "I went up to an SUV and asked if everyone was alright and there was a gentleman there and his wife told me that something had happened with his back and he was laying on a rag that was covered in blood. And in the car in front of that one, there was a woman who had three small children - all in car seats, all in the back. I think they were OK but it was kind of hard to tell. And then there was two more cars involved in front of us and nobody appeared injured in those cars."

Hamilton said while the bus (an Amtrak commuter bus taking folks from Eugene to Portland) did not overturn, the door was blocked so passengers were forced to use the windows to exit the bus.

"My first instinct was to get out as quickly as possible," said bus passenger Nathan Perlmutter.

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