Eagle, AK Tour Bus Crash, Sep 1988


Fairbanks, Alaska (AP) - The investigation of a tour bus crash near Eagle that left one person dead and 29 injured continued Sunday.
A Gray Line of Alaska motor coach carrying 42 passengers on the ninth day of a 15-day tour plunged over an embankment on the muddy Taylor Highway on Friday.
Troopers said the bus carrying 42 passengers was descending a narrow, rain-soaked stretch of the highway about 23 miles south of Eagle when it went off the road after meeting a fuel truck traveling uphill. Spruce trees broke the descent of the bus after it plunged about 100 feet.
The bus and the fuel truck were being driven at moderate speeds, troopers said.
Twenty-nine people were admitted to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital late Friday. Three were released Saturday. Of those remaining Sunday, two were in critical condition, eight were in serious condition and 16 were satisfactory.
Gray Line identified the dead passenger as WALTER MEYERHOFF, 57, of Vancouver, B.C.
Company officials Sunday were trying to pick up the pieces of the tour that started in Vancouver.
"Basically, we're taking care of our passengers' needs," said Julie Chase, a spokeswoman for Westours in Seattle.
"They're getting their belongings and we're making sure their travel arrangements are being taken care of.
We've already had two people leave to continue their tour."
Gray Line is a subsidiary of Holland America Line-Westours Inc.
Chase said she believed Gray Line planned to continue running the tour through Eagle. "I don't think there has been any decision not to run it,"
she said.
The tour - which on various legs employed buses, a boat and a train - started in Vancouver and went to Juneau, Skagway, Whitehorse and Dawson in the Yukon Territory and Eagle. The tourists were on their way from Eagle to Tok when the crash occurred. From Tok, they were to go to Fairbanks and Denali National Park and then to Anchorage.
Chase said a few of the uninjured passengers left Sunday to join another tour and eight or nine wanted to continue with their tour Monday.

Daily Sitka Sentinel Alaska 1988-09-06