The Latest: 4 killed in crash were international students

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Posted: Sep 25, 2015 2:48 AM
The Latest: 4 killed in crash were international students

SEATTLE (AP) — The latest on a crash between an amphibious tour vehicle and a charter bus in Seattle (all times local):

11:45 p.m.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced that the stretch of State Road 99 where the crash occurred was reopened for traffic about 11 p.m. The stretch of highway had been closed for hours as traffic investigators looked into what happened. The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of 17 people to Seattle, and Mayor Ed Murray said they were taking over the investigation.

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11 p.m.

Susan Gregg, a spokeswoman for Harborview and the University of Washington medical centers, released a statement Thursday night that gave the conditions of some of the 51 people who were taken to area hospitals after the crash.

At Harborview Medical Center, two people are in critical condition and 10 are in serious condition in intensive care, Gregg said. Three other people are in satisfactory condition, she said.

At the University of Washington Medical Center, two people are in intensive care, Gregg said. Three people are being treated at the Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, she said.

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6:55 p.m.

A Seattle college says the four people killed in a crash involving a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle were international students on their way to new student orientation events.

The crash involving a "duck boat" and the charter bus carrying the students happened Thursday on the Aurora Bridge, which carries one of the city's main north-south highways over a lake.

At least two other people were critically hurt.

In a statement Thursday evening, North Seattle College said "four of our students were tragically killed" in the crash, and that because they were international students, government official were working to contact their family members.

North Seattle College is a two-year institution with about 18,000 students.

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6:45 p.m.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says the National Transportation Safety Board is taking over the investigation into a crash involving a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle that killed four people.

The crash involving the bus and a "duck boat" happened Thursday on the Aurora Bridge, which carries one of the city's main north-south highways over a lake.

At a news conference Thursday evening, Murray said federal investigators would arrive Friday. He also said the Seattle company that operated the duck boats has voluntarily taken them off city streets.

Fire Chief Harold Scroggins says 51 people were taken to area hospital following the crash. Many were international college students on their way to a new student orientation event.

Harborview Medical Center Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says two people are listed in critical condition and nine in serious condition.

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5:50 p.m.

A hospital spokeswoman says 16 people from the deadly crash involving a charter bus and amphibious tour vehicle are being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Spokeswoman Susan Gregg said Thursday that two were listed in critical condition and nine in serious condition. All 11 were in the intensive care unit.

Five people were in satisfactory condition including one who was transferred to Harborview from another hospital.

Two people have been discharged after treatment.

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4:18 p.m.

A student who was on a charter bus involved in a deadly crash with an amphibious tour vehicle in Seattle says she and other students on the bus "didn't see anything" before the two vehicles collided.

Rujia Xie, a 16-year-old from China, says the international students from North Seattle College were on their way to Safeco Field for new-student orientation Thursday when the crash happened.

She says: "We didn't see anything. Just the sound. The smell of gas."

She says glass fell on their faces, and they jumped from the bus.

Xie was holding an ice bag, which was covering bruises on her face, as she left the North Seattle Community College campus, where the less seriously injured people on the bus were taken.

The college says about 45 students and employees were in the vehicle.

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3:32 p.m.

The president of the company operating an amphibious tour vehicle that crashed with a charter bus in Seattle says his main concern is with the families of the four killed and dozens injured.

Brian Tracey of Ride the Ducks told The Associated Press that he wants to ensure "everyone is taken care of."

He says he doesn't know what caused the crash Thursday, but "we will get to the bottom of it."

Tracey says there were 36 people on the amphibious tour vehicle, whose driver has a Coast Guard license and a commercial driving license. He says all company drivers are required to take continuing education classes.

Seattle police and fire officials didn't immediately describe the chain of events leading up to the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will send a team to investigate.

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2:32 p.m.

The president of the company operating an amphibious tour vehicle that crashed with a charter bus is calling the deadly Seattle wreck "devastating."

Brian Tracey of Ride the Ducks tells The Seattle Times (http://bit.ly/1VduJ6r ) that "all I care about is the safety of the passengers and the people who were injured on the duck." He says the company continually trains and conducts ongoing education classes to ensure safety.

The crash Thursday killed four people and injured dozens of others, including 12 critically. It involved students and staff from North Seattle College's International Program.

Seattle police and fire officials didn't immediately describe the chain of events leading to the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board will send a team to investigate.

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This item has been corrected to show that an NTSB team will investigate but isn't already on scene.

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2:10 p.m.

An SUV driver who was involved in a deadly crash on a Seattle bridge says a charter bus and amphibious tour vehicle were headed in opposite directions when they collided.

Twenty-three-year-old Brad Volm, of Philadelphia, says he was driving behind the duck boat, heading north on the Aurora Avenue bridge, when the amphibious vehicle swerved in front of him.

Volm says it appeared the duck boat's front left tire locked up, and the vehicle swerved into the oncoming charter bus.

Seattle police and fire officials didn't immediately describe the chain of events leading to the crash. But they say initial reports described it as a head-on collision.

The crash Thursday left four people dead and dozens injured.

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1:45 p.m.

Students and staff from North Seattle College's International Program were involved in the deadly crash between a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle.

School spokeswoman Melissa Mixon said in a statement that the wreck that killed four people and injured dozens occurred at about 11:15 a.m. Thursday. She says the uninjured students and staff were taken back to campus, where counsellors were on hand.

Mayor Ed Murray says the foreign students were on the charter bus, and efforts were being made to contact consulates. He had no other details.

North Seattle College is a two-year institution with about 18,000 students. Mixon says it's trying to determine more information.

The charter bus was from Bellair Charters and Airporter, based in Ferndale, Washington. A message left with the company's president wasn't immediately returned.

The other vehicle was an amphibious bus operated by a tour company called "Ride the Ducks."

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1 p.m.

The Seattle fire chief says four people died at the scene of a crash involving a charter bus, an amphibious tour vehicle and two passenger cars.

Chief Harold Scoggins said at a news conference Thursday that 12 were critically injured, higher than previously reported. Many others received minor injuries.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray says there were foreign students on the charter bus. Murray says efforts were being made to contact their consulates, but he had no other details.

Murray called the incident a "terrible tragedy."

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12:47 p.m.

A witness says she was walking across a Seattle bridge just after a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle crashed and came upon a mess of jumbled metal and glass.

Jahna Dyer, a registered nurse, told The Associated Press on Thursday that some victims were sprawled out on the pavement while others milled about seemingly in shock and falling down.

Authorities say the crash killed two people and critically injured nine others. Dyer says she stabilized the neck of an injured man and helped a woman who had a cut lip and glass in her eye.

Another witness, John Mundell says he was at the south end of the bridge when he heard a screech and twisted metal and saw what appeared to be a few dozen people on the ground.

Mundell says wanted to help the injured but "felt helpless."

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12:29 p.m.

Seattle fire officials say two people killed when a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle crashed were on the bus, as were most of the nine people critically injured.

Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl says 12 people suffered minor injuries that would require hospital visits, and officials evaluated 30 other passengers on the vehicles who didn't need further treatment.

Officials have not said what caused the crash Thursday.

The amphibious, military-style tour vehicles are operated by a tour company called Ride the Ducks and are known for exuberant drivers and tour guides who play loud music and quack through megaphones as they lead tourists around the city.

A man who answered the phone at the Ride the Ducks corporate office says the company had no immediate comment.

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12:10 p.m.

Seattle fire officials say two people have been killed and nine critically injured in a crash between a charter bus and an amphibious tour vehicle in Seattle.

The crash occurred on a bridge over Lake Union late Thursday morning. Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the hospital expected to treat up to 10 of the most seriously injured victims, while as many as 15 others were being dispersed to other hospitals in the area.

The amphibious, military-style tour vehicles are operated by a tour company called "Ride the Ducks" and are known for exuberant drivers and tour guides who play loud music and quack through megaphones as they lead tourists around the city.