State police: Kids OK in crash involving school bus

COOS BAY, Ore. -- State police say a chain reaction crash involving a school bus rerouted southbound traffic on Highway 101 near the Highway 42 intersection.

Authorities at the scene say the bus was transporting kids from Myrtle Point on a field trip. None of the 26 children and 8 adults on the school bus were injured.

Crash investigators said that a commercial truck pulling a trailer-load of asphalt had a malfunction at around 12:50 p.m. Thursday that caused it to release its load of asphalt onto the southbound lanes of the highway.

The truck stopped at the scene; officials said that traffic was able to get by the truck in the left-hand lane. Coos County deputies responded to the scene to help direct traffic around the spill.

Investigators said the chain reaction crash happened at around 1:05 p.m. Thursday when a school bus, driven by Beau Allen, 32 of Myrtle Point, rear-ended a Chevy Suburban driven by Robert BettenCourt, 47 of Bandon.

The Chevy, in turn, was pushed into a Toyota RAV4 driven by Audrey Snead, 59 from North Bend.

Snead was taken to Bay Area Hospital where she was treated for minor injuries. Bettencourt refused medical treatment despite complaints of pain. He left the scene in a separate car.

Officials said that no one on the bus was injured.

The southbound lanes of Highway 101 were closed for about three hours while crews worked to clear the southbound lanes of the crash and spilled asphalt. ODOT officials said the Highway was reopened by 4 p.m. Thursday.