Two pickups slid into an Enterprise school bus near the intersection of Hurricane Creek Road and Green Valley Road just south of Enterprise just after 4 p.m. on Feb. 5. The bus was taking the last three elementary school students onboard home. There were no injuries to drivers or students.
Wallowa Memorial Hospital EMS ambulance, Wallowa County Sheriff's deputies, Enterprise Police and Oregon State Police responded.
Roads were extremely slick. The driver of a white Chevy pickup was westbound on Green Valley Road and attempted to stop at the stop sign. However, he slid past the stop sign and collided with the front bumper of the school bus, which was southbound on Hurricane Creek Road and driven by 25-year veteran bus driver Dick Wheeler. A dark blue Dodge pickup, driven by Austin Quimby, was approaching the intersection in the northbound lane of Hurricane Creek Road, and collided with the Chevy truck, pushing it into the school bus again in what must have looked like a series of pool-table shots.
"The collision was pretty strong," Wheeler said. "It pushed the bus over to the side of the road about four of five feet from where I was driving."
Wheeler said it was the first accident he has experienced in his 25 years of driving the bus.
Parents arrived within about 15 minutes to pick up their children once paramedics had examined them and cleared them to go home. Wheeler said that the students were a little shaken, but had begun to rebound by the time the ambulance and police arrived within a few minutes of the collision.
The collision pushed the bus's bumper into the left front tire, and although it didn't puncture the tire, it impeded steering. OSP and others used a Sawzall to cut the bolts holding the bumper to the bus. Once the bumper was removed, the bus was able to travel on its own. The two pickups sustained mostly minor body damage and were also drivable.