PENDLETON, Ore. — Oregon State Police say the number of holiday traffic deaths this year is the highest since 1999.
The Oregon State Police said this year’s fatality number for the New Year’s Holiday period matches two previous years since 1970. The same number of traffic deaths were reported for that holiday period in back-to-back years, 1998 and 1999, according to ODOT’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The twelve deaths in Oregon this season included the nine who died in the tour bus crash near Pendleton in December. Victims of that tour bus crash are still being identified. The bus crash happened on Sunday. Four remain in the hospital in fair condition. A team of three inspectors from the National Transportation Safety Board are now in the area conducting an investigation.
Lt. Gregg Hastings says three of the holiday crashes and eleven of the deaths happened on I-84. Six people died during the previous new year’s holiday reporting period, which goes from December 28th through January 1st.