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School bus driver cited for careless driving in fatal collision

n Victim was one of two pedestrians struck in the Centennial area


Police have cited the driver of a school bus that struck two pedestrians, killing one of them.

Following an investigation, police cited Billie Jean Neel, 55, of Gladstone, on allegations of careless driving causing death to a vulnerable road user and two counts of failure to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, Portland Police Bureau spokesman.

Neel was driving a school bus at about 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 9, when she struck two pedestrians in a crosswalk at Southeast 148th Avenue and Division Street. One of the pedestrians, Renee Jean Bates, 43, died at a Portland hospital just hours after the collision.

Her husband, Shawn Dale Bates, also 43, was also hit by the school bus but did not require any medical attention.

The couple, who live in the same outer Southeast Portland neighborhood where the accident happened, were in a crosswalk on Southeast 148th Avenue when the school bus, which was heading south on 148th Avenue, ran into them in the right-turn lane.

Two children on the bus at the time of the collision were not injured. Both children live in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District and were escorted to a nearby school.

Neel was not injured and remained at the scene, where she cooperated the Portland Police Department's Traffic Division Major Crash Team.

Police say that Neel was not impaired at the time of the accident. She has worked for First Student for 24 years and has a clean driving record.



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