School bus filled with children crashes in Northeast Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. – Two kids are injured after the Portland school bus they were riding in crashed into a tree and two parked cars on NE 57th Ave in Portland.
The bus driver told police she saw some sort of animal in the roadway and tried to avoid that by swerving. That's when she hit the tree and two parked cars.
"I was in my kitchen and heard a really, really loud noise, and it's garbage day," says Cindy Casama Gerber. ""Like all the neighbors started coming out and just helping and trying to get the kids off the bus and making sure they were okay."
"We were just talking to the kids and asking their names and I shared my name with them and saying, 'I know you're scared, it's going to be okay,'" Casama Gerber said.
Paramedics transported one kid for an evaluation, and another injured child went home with a parent. There were 32 kids on board -- all first and third graders. Most kids just walked the half-block to Rose City Park Elementary School and paramedics caught up with them there.
"It's traumatic and it had to be terrifying for the kids so we really feel for them," says Dave Northfield, a Portland Public Schools spokesperson.
"Every morning at dispatch, every driver is checked out by the person handing them the keys to make sure they're okay. In a situation like this, the driver will go through a thorough U.S. Department of Transportation drug test and medical exam," says Jon Coney, a spokesperson for the Portland Public Schools transportation department.
Casama Gerber's car is totaled, but she said it's the least of her concerns. She can't help but think about the "what-ifs" since so many kids use the sidewalk to get to school.
"It's a stream of kids, so I feel like it's a real blessing that no one got seriously injured."