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More Oregon bus crash victims are identified

January 02, 2013|By Andrew Khouri
  • The crashed bus was removed Monday after falling 200 feet down an embankment in eastern Oregon on Sunday, killing nine people.
The crashed bus was removed Monday after falling 200 feet down an embankment… ( Randy L. Rasmussen / The…)

Authorities on Wednesday released the names of two more victims in the tour bus crash in eastern Oregon over the weekend that killed nine people and injured 38 others.

Oun Hong Jung, 67, and his wife Joong Wha Kim, 63, who were visiting from South Korea, were among the dead, Oregon authorities confirmed. The couple reportedly had been staying with family in Bothell, Wash., Oregon State Police said.

A day earlier, authorities identified Dale William Osborn, 57, of Washington state as another of the crash victims; his wife, Darlene, was still being treated for her injuries at St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Ore.

The identities of the remaining six victims, all of Asian descent, were still not confirmed. The process is complicated by significant injuries and availability of IDs, among other issues, state police said.

The accident occurred Sunday on an icy Oregon road as the bus was returning to Vancouver, Canada, from Las Vegas. Officials said the bus — operated by Mi Joo Tour & Travel of British Columbia — tumbled almost 100 feet down a hill after the driver lost control along westbound Interstate 84 and crashed through a guardrail.

The company had reported no crashes in the last two years and had a "satisfactory" safety record, according to U.S. federal records. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board were still investigating the case.

Oregon State Police said they continued to release passports and other property found at the scene to surviving passengers.

Three inspectors from the National Transportation Safety Board were still investigating in the area Wednesday and working with state police, authorities said.

On Monday, state police said it may be a month or more until they can present a completed case to prosecutors for review and possible further action.

A spokesman for the Oregon State Police said police conducted an “initial interview” with the driver, Haeng Kyu Hwang, 54, earlier this week while he was in the hospital. Lt. Gregg Hastings declined to reveal what he told investigators, citing the ongoing investigation.

State police said Sunday's crash was the deadliest traffic accident in the state since 1971.

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