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One Year Later Lawsuits Stack Up On Deadly Pendleton Bus Crash

Oregon State Police
Emergency personnel at the scene of the deadly bus crash on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton in January 2013.

Several lawsuits are stacking up across the Northwest and in Vancouver, B.C. against the driver and tour company of a bus that crashed near Pendleton, Ore. a year ago Monday.

The terrible accident last year killed nine people at a spot known as Dead Man’s Pass. Lawyers are alleging that snowy and icy conditions, paired with a fatigued and reckless driver may have caused a Vancouver, B.C., tour bus to careen down a steep embankment nearly 200 feet.

The tour company was geared toward Koreans and Korean-American and Canadian communities. There are now several lawsuits by legal firms headquartered in Tacoma, Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, B.C.

One case, recently filed in Umatilla County, Oregon, is asking for $700 million of damages from the tour and bus companies, the bus driver and the State of Oregon. It’s been filed on behalf of 10 passengers and two who died.

The bus company has been banned from leading tours in the U.S. by the federal government.

The Korean-American community near Tacoma where many of the victims and passengers were from is still recovering from the tragedy. At the annual Christmas party of the Korean Women’s Association in Western Washington, the group’s leaders reminded their members to choose a travel company wisely.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.