Crash, FGSD, Hagg Lake

School bus driver involved in earlier crash arrested on DUI charge

Photo: Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

HAGG LAKE AREA – After a school bus with ten Forest Grove School District students on board crashed near Hagg Lake today, deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office have arrested the bus driver and charged him with a DUI.

According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, the 20 year old driver Jonathan C. Gates of Hillsboro was driving the bus when it left the roadway and crashed into a ditch on SW Old Highway 47 near Seghers Road.

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Deputies arrived just after 8 a.m. Wednesday to find 12 occupants — ten students ranging in age from ten to sixteen, the driver, and an adult bus aid — apparently uninjured after being checked out by first responders.

The students hail from Forest Grove High School, Neil Armstrong Middle School and Tom McCall Upper Elementary School, according to the district.

The students were shuttled to school on another bus or left with parents or guardians.

Deputies determined that Gates appeared to be impaired, and he was arrested on a DUI – controlled substance charge and transported to the Washington County Jail, where he cooperated with detectives.

Gates was issued a citation and released in lieu of custody.

A company spokesperson for the Mid Columbia Bus Co., the company contracted by the district to provide bus services was not immediately available to comment.

“Following district procedure, the driver will undergo a mandatory drug test and be placed on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing,” the Forest Grove School District said in a statement.

Members of the inter-agency Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team responded and are assisting in the crash investigation.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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