PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A Canadian lawyer representing victims of an Oregon tour bus crash that left nine people dead and three dozen injured filed a $700 million lawsuit Monday in Pendleton.
The complaint alleges the tour bus drivers were negligent, and it also accused Oregon and ODOT of failing to make an icy stretch of Interstate 84 safe for driving.
The Mi Joo Tour and Travel bus left Vancouver, Canada on a sightseeing trip with 47 people aboard – most of them South Korean – in December 2012.
As it headed back toward Canada on Dec. 30, it passed an exit for Deadman’s Pass. About a mile later, bus driver Haeng-Kyu Hwang lost control and slid into a concrete barrier on the left side of the road, the lawsuit says, and then spun toward the right section and went through a guard rail.
The bus plummeted about 200 feet down an embankment, rolling at least once. The passengers inside did not have seat belts and “were thrown about violently,” the lawsuit said, and some were thrown through windows and slammed against an embankment of sharp rocks.
The bus landed upright at the bottom of the canyon. Nine people died and everyone else on board suffered injuries, the lawsuit said.
The complaint filed in Umatilla County this week accuses the bus drivers of driving too fast, failing to brake properly and failing to select a safer driving route, among a dozen other allegations.
It also says ODOT failed to equip the stretch of I-84 with barriers of sufficient strength and failed to sufficiently plow the roadway.
Attorney Scott Parks is asking for a trial by jury in the lawsuit.