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Lawyer blames black ice for U.S. bus crash

SEATTLE - The lawyer for a Vancouver bus company involved in a deadly Oregon crash says black ice, not driver fatigue, was responsible for the tragedy.

Nine people died and 38 were injured Dec. 30 when the tour bus owned by Mi Joo Tour & Travel Ltd. crashed near the northeast Oregon community of Pendleton.

Mark Scheer says on that day there were a number of accidents along the same stretch of highway involving black ice.

The U.S. Department of Transportation pulled the company's authority to operate yesterday saying it had determined the bus driver had spent 92 hours operating the bus over the eight-day trip.

Scheer says the bus driver had about seven and one-half hours of sleep the night before the crash, and that morning had only been on the road for about two and one-half hours, including a rest break.

He says the bus driver had a good safety record, is in good health, doesn't use alcohol or tobacco, and there is no evidence to suggest alcohol or drugs played any role in the crash.

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