Four people were injured Monday evening in two closely related collisions at Mile 2.5 of Egan Drive.
A compact car heading outbound on Egan hit the right rear of a Capital Transit bus making a left turn in front of it onto Glacier Highway. Two 16-year-old boys were in the car, a 1994 Mazda. Passenger Kenny Taug was seriously injured, with open elbow fractures as well as leg, knee and back injuries. He was medevaced to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Monday night.
"He is in satisfactory condition and in the operating room now," said Kristin Foley, Harborview spokesman, at 11:45 this morning. Taug underwent more than two hours of surgery today. Family friend Paula Cadiente said he had two crushed vertebrae.
The other boy, William Ridgeway, suffered cervical strain and a slight concussion. He was discharged from Bartlett Regional Hospital at 9:10 p.m., said Marijo Toner, Bartlett's regional affairs coordinator.
"A vehicle hit a city bus and at the same time a vehicle rear-ended another vehicle," said Lt. Ed Quinto of Capital City Fire & Rescue.
Quinto was incident commander at the scene, which was called in to firefighters at 5:45 p.m. Three medical units, an engine from the Juneau station, and a rescue vehicle with extrication equipment from Douglas responded.
The special extrication equipment was not needed. "The compact car was so damaged I couldn't tell the model. It was opened up like a tuna can, so no one had to be extricated," Quinto said.
A passenger riding at the back corner of the bus, a woman, 34, complained of upper back pain. She was taken to Bartlett, where she was treated for shoulder and upper back sprain and mild chest wall bruising from the impact, Toner said.
The driver of the rear-ended vehicle, a woman, 21, also was transported to the emergency room. She was treated for neck and upper back sprain, Toner said.
Taug was the most seriously injured, Quinto said. "Everybody else was walking around."
Kenny's mother, Karen Taug, vice president and controller of Goldbelt, was in a meeting and not available for comment.
"We will be praying, " said Reilly Richey, football coach at Juneau-Douglas High School. Richey knew Taug when he was in his physical fitness classes. "He's a nice kid; nice family," Richey said today.
"He is recovering," said Juneau School Board member Stan Ridgeway of his son William. "He has a concussion and is pretty bruised up."
William was the driver of the Mazda, Ridgeway said. He did not know when his son would be able to return to school.
Transit manager John Kern, who went to the scene, said the bus was inbound on a regular run to downtown.
"At the intersection just after what everybody calls 'the wall,' it was making a left turn. As it was proceeding through the turn, a car northbound on Egan in the right-hand lane struck the bus just behind its real wheel, right about at the bumper. It appears that the car then spun beyond the point of impact," Kern said.
Apparently, the car's bumper caught on the bus and the car tore open, Kern said.
The bus suffered about $15,000 damage and is inoperable, Kern said this morning. "It was one of our newer, handicapped-accessible buses, so it is a loss to the fleet. But we will be able to meet all our service demands," he said.
The bus driver was not hurt, nor were the other 16 passengers on the bus, Kern said.
No one has been cited, said Capt. Tom Porter of the Juneau Police Department, but the incident is under investigation. "Our accident reconstruction people are sitting down with officers assigned right now," he said this morning.
Porter believed the road was not icy and was "in pretty good shape" when the incident occurred.
The accident comes only nine days after the death of another 16-year-old boy, Brandon Pilot, in a single-vehicle rollover on Eaglecrest Road.