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Fatal Downtown Portland Bus Crash – 1 Killed

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Rachel Moody3 years ago

Montserrat Hernandez Garcia, 18, of Vancouver, was hit and killed by a charter bus on Sunday near Portland, Oregon’s Greyhound bus station shortly before 4 p.m. 

She was due to work at Bridgeport Brewing Co. in the Pearl when she was killed. 

About the Fatal Bus Crash

A witness reported he had just exited a MAX train a few yards from the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Glisan Street when he saw Garcia step into a crosswalk. 

She had the walk light in her favor as the bus turned north onto Sixth from Glisan.  The witness stated the bus “just hit her, just ran right over her” and that a man was banging on the side of the bus, yelling for the driver to stop. 

The witness claimed he saw her “kind of hold on to the front bumper of the bus [as] the bus just kept going and ran over her.”

Another witness saw her being pulled up under the bus.  He said she let out a blood-curdling scream when she was hit.  

Once the bus came to a stop, 68-year-old driver Charles Atarashi Start got out, walked back to where she was, and got on his phone. 

Reports state the driver was cooperative with authorities and stayed on scene.  He was not impaired at the time of the accident.

Authorities Investigate the Bus Crash

While investigators were at the scene, the bus remained in the middle of the street at a slight angle. 

Seattle-based MTR Western, operating since 2003, is the owner of the bus involved in the fatality.  The bus was operated by Public Oregon Intercity Transit, or POINT, a bus service contracted by Amtrak and Greyhound to fill gaps in service. 

Garcia was a senior at Hudson’s Bay High School.  She is remembered as always smiling and loving to laugh, according to the school’s principal. 

Pedestrian Fatality Statistics

The following facts were taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  • In 2012, there were 4,743 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes.
  • 76,000 pedestrians were injured in 2012.
  • 61% of fatal crashes involved only one vehicle, compared to 32% of injury crashes and 30% of property-damage-only crashes.
  • There were 251 fatalities by bus in 2012. 


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