A Vancouver man who was driving a bus of Army National Guard members from Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Ore., to Portland when he crashed into a sidewalk is suspected of being under the influence.
Oregon State Police and emergency personnel responded about 7 a.m. Monday to a non-injury crash on U.S. Highway 101 in Manzanita. The bus was occupied by 46 Army National Guard members from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry from Medford, Ore., according to troopers.
A preliminary investigation found the bus missed the turn onto U.S. Highway 26, outside of Seaside, Ore. The driver, identified as Kenneth Alexander, 44, assured the passengers he knew the route to Portland and continued south on Highway 101. However, the passengers grew concerned over Alexander’s use of his cellphone and noted he showed signs of impairment. Alexander then lost control of the bus and crashed into a sidewalk, according to an Oregon State Police news release.
Alexander was taken to a local hospital for evaluation. No one else was injured.
The Tillamook County, Ore., District Attorney’s Office will review the case for charges of driving under the influence and 46 counts of reckless endangerment against Alexander.
The city of Manzanita opened city hall to the National Guard members to wait for another bus to arrive.