Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Ten students from various grade levels were on the bus when it crashed north of Gaston, but none were hurt.

COURTESY PHOTO: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - Students were unhurt when their school bus crashed along Old Highway 47 south of Forest Grove on Wednesday morning, Nov. 13, authorities said.A 20-year-old school bus driver is facing charges for driving under the influence of intoxicants after crashing his bus in between Forest Grove and Gaston on Wednesday morning, Nov. 13, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said.

The bus crashed off the road in a rural area of western Washington County between Forest Grove and Gaston at about 8 a.m., the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies arrested Jonathan C. Gates of Hillsboro after observing signs of impairment when they arrived at the scene.

The bus was carrying 10 students and an adult aide when it crashed into a ditch off Southwest Old Highway 47, near Southwest Seghers Drive.

The Forest Grove School District acknowledged the crash in a statement, saying the bus had been serving school route 14 at the time.

"All students were evaluated by first responders and there were no injuries," the district said. "All affected families have been contacted. Students were either picked up by a parent/guardian or transported by an alternate bus to school."

Gates was taken to the Washington County Jail, where he was cited and released, the Sheriff's Office said. He is suspected of driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. An investigation is ongoing.

The school district said Gates will undergo a mandatory drug test. He's been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.

The students on the bus were between the ages of 10 and 16, according to the Sheriff's Office. They included students from Forest Grove High School, Neil Armstrong Middle School and Tom McCall Upper Elementary School, the Forest Grove School District said.

The bus is owned by the Mid Columbia Bus Company.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information on the driver, including his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants, as well as with additional details from the Forest Grove School District.

By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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