Garrett Andrews

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Roseburg school bus hits stopped car

Four people were taken to Mercy Medical Center on Wednesday after a Roseburg school bus carrying students home from Joseph Lane Middle School hit a small sedan stopped on Northeast Stephens Street at Newton Creek Road.

The driver of the sedan, Beverly Reynaga, 57, of Roseburg suffered a head laceration and was driven by ambulance to Mercy, Roseburg police Sgt. Jeff Eichenbusch said.

Two children riding with her were also transported with less serious injuries. Marcus Reynaga, 12, who was riding in the front passenger seat, appeared to be fine, but was taken to the hospital for observation, Eichenbusch said. A backseat passenger, Alexander Reynaga, 13, suffered minor lacerations to his arms.

A young bus passenger complaining of neck pain was transported to Mercy by a parent, as well, Eichenbusch said. The student’s name was not available.

All three patients from the sedan were treated and released that afternoon, a hospital spokeswoman said.

At about 1:30 p.m., Beverly Reynaga was driving north on Stephens Street and preparing to turn right onto Newton Creek. She stopped to yield to a woman in a motorized wheelchair who was southbound in the northbound bike lane, police said.

The school bus, driven by Roseburg resident Lawrence Georges, 61, crashed into the Nissan Altima traveling about 35 mph, police said.

“The full-size bus hit the other car going full speed for that road,” Eichenbusch said.

Firefighters had to cut into the crushed back end of the Altima to remove Alexander Reynaga, police said.

Police, firefighters and paramedics responded and slowed passing traffic for more than an hour as they cleared the scene.

The school district sent a second bus to ferry home the 36 remaining students, the school district’s transportation supervisor, Jil Webber, said.

District staff members called parents to notify them their children would be late due to the accident, Webber said.

The school district has contracted with Durham School Services for transportation services since 1997.

Georges, who’s driven for Durham for six years, was cited for following too closely, a traffic violation.

He was not at work this morning, pending an investigation into the accident, said John Crain, Durham’s local general manager. Crain said all drivers involved in major accidents are put on leave.

The school district generally leaves disciplinary decisions regarding bus drivers to Durham, though they will review the accident and advise the company, Superintendent Larry Parsons said.

• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at

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The News-Review Updated Mar 14, 2013 12:41PM Published Mar 18, 2013 08:57AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.