PORTLAND,Ore. – The distraught driver of a TriMet bus that ran into several people this morning is now being identified.
Forty-eight-year-old Sandi Day was driving the out-of-service bus on TriMet's 9 route, heading west on Northwest Glisan Street before making a left turn onto Broadway Boulevard and colliding with a pack of pedestrians crossing Broadway. The bus trapped three of the walkers beneath the bus.
Portland Police Sergeant Greg Stewart tells us that "given the congestion of the downtown area, and it being a weekend night where we have people out having a good time ... it's fortunate – but also amazing – that this kind of accident doesn't happen more commonly down here."
Two women who were trapped died – 26-year-old Jenee Hammel of Gresham and 22-year-old Danielle Sale of Vancouver – even as firefighters struggled to lift the bus to get them out. The third trapped pedestrian, 22-year-old Robert Gittings, suffered serious injuries and was in critical condition at a local hospital Sunday morning.
The two others in the group suffered minor injuries: 23-year-old Jamie Hammel and 28-year-old Ryan Hammel of Portland. Both were transported to area hospitals. Jenee Hammel is the sister of Ryan Hammel and the sister-in-law of Jamie Hammel.
The critically injured Gittings was in town from Idaho, out with the others exploring Portland's Pearl District. The accident happened just before midnight Saturday, April 24. Portland police said the pedestrians had a walk signal, and the bus was turning on a green light.
A Portland Police Bureau spokesperson said speed does not appear to be a factor. The bus driver is cooperating with investigators, and no arrests have been made in this incident at this time.
Sandi Day has worked as a bus driver for TriMet for three years. A TriMet spokesperson said Day is on paid leave until the investigation is complete.
A photo from 26-year-old Jenee Hammel's Facebook page:
Jenee's brother Ryan Hammel and the sister-in-law of Jamie Hammel, both suffering minor injuries:
Follow the news:
- KATU Reporter Susan Harding's report from the scene Sunday evening
- Two killed, three injured when TriMet bus hits pedestrians
- More Northwest Portland Community news