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April 26, 2010 - Portland Police Probe Pedestrian Deaths

Police in Portland, Ore., Monday were investigating a weekend accident in which a public transit bus struck a group of pedestrians, killing two women.

Several people were trapped under the TriMet bus when it ran into the group crossing a street in downtown Portland Saturday night, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

The women who died were Jenee Hammel, 26, of Gresham and Danielle Sale, 22, of Vancouver.

Hammel's 28-year-old brother P. Ryan Hammel and his 23-year-old wife Jamie, newlyweds from Portland, received minor injuries. Robert E. Gittings, 22, of Idaho, was hospitalized in serious condition.

City police Sgt. Greg Stewart said the five were on their way to a comedy club during an evening out.

The Oregonian said there were no passengers were on the bus, which was out of service at the time.

Stewart, who told the newspaper it could be the middle of this week or later before the investigation is completed, said the bus driver, Sandi L. Day, 48, had a green light as it made a left-hand turn and hit the group, which had a walk signal.

Day, who was hired in October 2007, was tested for drugs per TriMet policy and placed on administrative leave. She reportedly was cooperating with the investigation.

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