Police working to learn more in fatal bus accident

Central Point, Ore. — Central Point Police are investigating, after they say a man was hit and killed by a Greyhound bus early Thursday morning. Detectives believe he was a passenger, possibly trying to get on the bus as it was taking off.

The police call came over the scanner Thursday morning around 1:30.

“A Greyhound bus that hit a pedestrian,” according to radio traffic.

Shortly after, Central Point police units began rushing to Penninger road, by the Pilot Travel Center where the crash occurred.

“I’ve got a male pinned under the bus, make sure medical is code three,” an officer advised over the radio.

Central Point Police Detective Josh Abbott says despite their fast response, it was too late for the victim.

“When they got there, it was pretty obvious that the individual that was struck by the bus was deceased,” Abbott said.

Working through the morning hours and into the day, Abbott says police may have figured out who the man is, but are waiting to speak with his family before releasing his name.

“Greyhound’s been helping and that’s how we think we possibly have the individual narrowed down,” Abbott said. “We don’t want to say for sure until we make a 100-percent identification.”

At the time, the bus was making a stop in Central Point, on its way from Seattle to Los Angeles.

Police say the driver is now home in California, and cooperating with the investigation. Right now, he isn’t facing any charges.

“We don’t believe intoxication is any kind of an issue at this point,” Abbott said. “And we were able to get some statements on scene.”

Other passengers have also spoken with police about the incident.

“We’ve had some people stating that were on the bus that he was banging on the bus, trying to get back on, but the driver wasn’t allowing him,” Abbott said.

Investigators are waiting on other technology to help answer important questions, such as how the man ended up under the bus.

“There’s a lot of potential witnesses to talk to,” Abbott said. “And unfortunately there’s no real security footage that we can look at.”

Police are hoping the victim’s cell phone can confirm his identity. They’re also using a 3-D image of the scene, created by the Serious/Fatal Traffic Accidents Reconstruction team, or STAR.

“There might be things that we missed looking out there with just two-dimensional cameras,” Abbott said. “We can start looking at that and maybe determining where a person might have been in conjunction with the vehicle, and the grizzly facts of how they ended up underneath it.”

Police say the interviews and the STAR team are their best chances of learning exactly what happened. This week, the STAR team is finishing up a week-long training on the equipment being used in this case.

The Faro scanner is used to map out a three-dimensional image of the scene.

“Pictures you know, just don’t do a good representation of an incident, to where this 3-D image, you can actually see a perspective from maybe where a witness was, a perspective where a victim was,” Medford Police Sergeant Don Lane said.

The STAR team is made up of law enforcement officials from several agencies in Jackson County, including the Medford Police Department, and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Their work will be used in this case. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Central Point Police Department.


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