School bus driver cited in fatal crash

A West Linn school bus was making a right turn when it hit a woman at a Southeast Portland crosswalk on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. The woman later died. (KOIN 6 News)
A West Linn school bus was making a right turn when it hit a woman at a Southeast Portland crosswalk on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. The woman later died. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The driver of a West Linn school bus that struck and killed a woman in a Southeast Portland crosswalk Tuesday has been cited by police.

Fifty-five-year-old Billie Jean Neel of Gladstone was issued citations for careless driving causing death to a vulnerable road user and failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

On Tuesday afternoon, 43-year-old Renee Jean Bates and her husband were hit while in a crosswalk at the intersection of Southeast 148th Avenue and Division Street. Police believe the school bus was trying to maneuver into a turn lane as the couple was crossing. Bates was transported to a Portland hospital, where she later died. Her husband, 43-year-old Shawn Bates, did not require medical attention.

Neel and two children aboard the bus at the time were not hurt. Portland police said Neel was not impaired at the time of the crash. The West Linn Tidings reports that Neel had been driving since 1989 for First Student Inc., which operates the school buses for the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, and had a clean driving record.

Portland police said the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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