Transit bus ‘slamming factor’ in chain-reaction collision

PORT ANGELES — A Clallam Transit System bus that couldn’t stop in time in heavy Front Street traffic started a five-vehicle chain of collisions Thursday afternoon, according to police.

The bus became “the slamming factor” when it struck a small blue pickup truck in very heavy traffic between Peabody and Lincoln streets, said Port Angeles Officer David Dombrowski.

The collision occurred at about 1:13 p.m.

Terry Weed, executive director of Clallam Transit, said the initial impact occurred at less than 20 mph.

The truck was carrying a ladder that cracked the bus’s windshield, and the bicycle rack on the front of the bus also was damaged.

The truck in turn was pushed into a compact car that struck a utility truck that hit another truck, Dombrowski said.

The driver of the blue pickup sustained a cut on his head. He was treated at and released from Olympic Medical Center.

One of the 10 passengers on the bus was treated and released from OMC after complaining of neck and back pain, according to Weed.

Weed declined to reveal the bus driver’s name but said he had been tested for drugs and alcohol according to Transit policy.

“We’re now debriefing our driver, who’s taking it pretty hard,” Weed said.

The bus was driven to Clallam Transit headquarters, 830 W. Lauridsen Blvd.

The blue pickup and compact car were towed from the scene. The other vehicles drove off under their own power.

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