Update: This article has been updated following a 2:13 p.m. press release from the Newport Police Department.
At around 8:33 a.m. on Wednesday, a Lincoln County Transit public transportation bus struck a man and a juvenile at a bus stop on the side of the road on Highway 101 near Northwest 60th Street and milepost 137 in north Newport, near the Pacific Shores RV Park.
According to a press release issued by the Newport Police Department, the bus was headed south on Highway 101 when it left its lane of travel and hit Jordan Harris, 24, and a child who was not identified, who were waiting at the bus stop. The circumstances of the crash are still under investigation, but Newport Police identified the driver of the bus as Kenneth Cram, 62, of Newport.
Derrick Clark told News-Times staff that he was also at the bus stop at the time, waiting on the usual 8:30 a.m. bus. Clark said he often uses the stop and had seen the Harris and the child waiting there several times before.
Clark said right before the incident, he backed away from the bus stop roughly 12 feet to smoke a cigarette and looked up to see the bus leaving the road and driving onto the grass, approaching the three at around 45 mph.
Clark said he yelled in alarm as the man grabbed the child and the three attempted to run up a nearby hill out of the path of the bus, but the bus continued to veer further right and hit the man and child. From there, Clark said the bus turned left back onto the road and drove off.
Clark said he attempted to help the man and child, but saw they were both severely injured and bleeding. He decided not to attempt to move them and immediately called the police while trying to wave down traffic for help. At one point, Clark said an older man from the RV park arrived at the scene and tried to help as well.
The bus continued south on Highway 101 to Northwest 55th Street, where it was ultimately parked. News-Times staff witnessed a man, who Chief Malloy identified as Cram, being wheeled to an ambulance at around 9:20 a.m. near that area.
Both Harris and child were reportedly severely injured and transported to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport before being transferred to a Portland area hospital via Life Flight helicopter.
Destiny Fitch, who said she is the adult victim’s sister, said in a Facebook post about the incident that as of 11:34 a.m. Wednesday, her brother was in critical condition with swelling and bleeding in the brain.
Traffic in the area was slowed for approximately one hour following the incident, but the road remained open.
Updates will be posted to the News-Times’ website as they are made available.