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Update On Multi Vehicle Crash On Hwy 101/42
None of the 26 students on a school bus were injured in a multi-vehicle crash. Oregon State Police are continuing their investigation into a multi-vehicle chain reaction crash on Thursday afternoon that occurred on Highway 101 south of Coos Bay near the Highway 42 junction. On October 17th at approximately 1pm, a commercial truck pulling a trailer loaded with asphalt was southbound on Highway 101 near Southport Road, a divided section of highway with two lanes in each direction. An apparent mechanical malfunction caused the trailer’s doors to open, releasing asphalt onto the highway covering both southbound lanes. The truck hauling asphalt stopped and its driver remained at the scene where the left lane was passable for traffic at a reduced speed.
Coos County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene, parking on the right side of the highway prior to the spill with emergency lights activated in an effort to get vehicles to slow down.
The chain-reaction collision occurred between 3 vehicles. A Bluebird school bus driven by 32-year-old Beau Allen, from Myrtle Point, rear-ended a Suburban driven by 47-year-old Robert Bettencourt, from Bandon. The impact pushed the Suburban into the rear of a RAV4 driven by 59-year-old Audrey Snead, from North Bend. The school bus was transporting second grade students from Myrtle Crest Elementary School returning from a field trip. The 26 children and 8 adults, including Allen, were not injured. The students were transferred to a replacement bus and returned to the school.
Snead was taken to Bay Area Hospital where she was treated and released. Bettencourt declined medical treatment at the scene.
The southbound lanes were closed for approximately 3 hours and traffic was rerouted to the northbound lanes of the highway while the crash was cleared and ODOT crews worked to remove the asphalt. All lanes were opened by 4pm.