START Bus accident

This START bus, without passengers at the time, ended up in the ditch Sunday morning on Highway 390.

A START bus slid off Highway 390 near the Aspens on Sunday morning, causing no injuries or damage but slowing traffic for about an hour.

Donnie McBath, a transit dispatcher with START, said there were no passengers on board and no vehicles in the path of the bus.

“That’s the best way it could have happened,” he said. “No cars around, no people. That’s an ideal situation if that were to happen.”

The slide began when the bus hit a “pretty slick” patch of ice, McBath said. The bus’ retarder — a secondary brake system — activated and caused the bus to veer into a snowbank.

McBath said such incidents are fairly common, with five or so each winter. START usually pulls its own buses out, using either a truck or a bulldozer, but due to low staffing Sunday it had to call a private towing company.

He said that in snowy conditions START makes safety announcements throughout the day to remind its drivers to slow down and be cautious.

Contact Cody Cottier at 732-5911 or

Cody Cottier covers town and state government. He grew up with a view of the Olympic Mountains, and after graduating Washington State University he traded it for a view of the Tetons. Odds are the mountains are where you’ll find him when not on deadline.

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