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Youngest in bus crash leaves hospital

  |   Jan. 3, 2013 at 1:24 PM
PENDETON, Ore., Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The youngest passenger on a tour bus which plunged down a 200-foot embankment in Oregon, killing nine people, was released from the hospital, officials said.

Jamin Kim, 7, one of 38 injured in the accident Sunday, left St., Anthony Hospital in Pendleton, Ore.

"She was doing well and seemed happy. She had her family with her," said Gloria Larson, the hospital's vice president of patient services.

The bus plunged from Interstate Highway 84 into a ravine at Deadman Pass in eastern Oregon's Blue Mountains, between the cities of Pendleton and LaGrande. The (Portland) Oregonian described the section of highway as notorious in the winter for accidents and jack-knifed trucks.

Many aboard the bus were South Korean or of Korean descent, and Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said missing and lost passports, language difficulties and problems matching descriptions of victims to people with extensive injuries have made positive identification of those killed difficult.

By late Wednesday, at least 14 people remained in 10 local hospitals, and authorities released the identities of only five who died, the newspaper said.

The bus was traveling from Las Vegas to Vancouver, British Columbia, when it skidded on a patch of black ice on the highway's westbound lanes, then spun across two lanes and struck a guard rail before falling into the ravine. Passengers described the bus striking the concrete center median, spinning and rolling over the guard rail.

The accident was Oregon's deadliest since 1971, the Oregon Department of Transportation reported.

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