Crook Co. school bus hits horse; students unhurt

Crash near Warm Springs as XC team returns home

POSTED: 4:54 PM PDT October 14, 2012 
Crook County High School
WARM SPRINGS, Ore. -

A school bus bringing the Crook County High cross-country team home from a meet in Portland struck a horse west of Warm Springs Saturday night, rendering the bus undrivable but causing no injuries, officials said.

The crash occurred around 8:15 p.m. as the bus carrying about 20 students and officials returned from a cross-country meet in Portland.

Warm Springs police Sgt. Danny Komning said no injuries were reported when the bus hit the horse just west of Warm Springs, in a fenced area that is deemed open range. The horse died as a result of the collision, he said.

Crook County schools Superintendent Dr. Duane Yecha, who happened to also be driving back from Portland at the time of the crash, told district officials by e-mail that the bus had encountered a herd of horses, and one horse was struck when it went across the highway.

Warm Springs EMTs and police took the students to the Warm Springs fire station and checked them out, all determined to be unhurt, officials said.

"We are fortunate," Yecha told school board members and principals, "as the bus lost all electrical power and experienced a broken windshield" in the collision. Fortunately, he added, "The air brakes allowed the disabled bus to stop safely on the downhill grade"

The students' parents were notified, and some traveled to Warm Springs to pick up their children, while others waited for another bus that was sent to Warm Springs and brought them home to Prineville, Yecha said.