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Nine people dead after bus accident on icy road

Two months after a driver was killed and dozens of passengers were injured when a chartered bus tour drove off an Arizona highway, a bus accident in another western U.S. state has killed at least nine people and injured more than 20 people.

The bus lost control on a snow- and ice-covered interstate near a section of the road that winds down a hill. It left the road and traveled down the hill, landing upright at the bottom of the snowy slope. More than a dozen rescuers used ropes to help retrieve people from the wreckage.

The accident occurred west of an area called Deadman Pass, which is so dangerous that the state published warnings to advise truck drivers of the area's changeable and severe weather conditions.

In the Arizona crash, the driver is believed to have had a medical problem. Authorities aren't sure what caused the most recent crash in Oregon. The bus driver survived had not been interviewed a day after the crash because of the seriousness of his injuries. Typically, after a serious accident like this, state and federal authorities, including the National Transportation Safety Board, may investigate to find out what went wrong and who should be held accountable.

In addition to government investigations, attorneys representing injured people or family members of passengers who died may also investigate to determine whether the bus company or the driver was negligent or if rules were violated. If negligence or rule violations were involved, a personal injury or wrongful death suit may be one way to hold bus companies accountable and force them to follow rules.

Source: The Associated Press, "9 killed in tour bus crash along Oregon highway," Dec. 31, 2012

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