A tour bus in Ketchikan rolled backward after losing power, going over a guardrail and ended up in Ketchikan Creek. The incident happened on Wednesday morning at about 11. 

There were no passengers in the vehicle, owned by Alaska Coach Tours, and the driver was uninjured.

Deputy Police Chief Eric Mattson says the accident occurred as the vehicle was heading to the Cape Fox Lodge.

“The vehicle was driving up Venetia Ave. towards Cape Fox Lodge when it lost power. It went backwards down Venetia, crossed over Park Avenue over the sidewalk railing and crashed, rear end first, into the creek where it laid to rest.”

Mattson says the next step is getting the bus out of the creek.

“We contacted the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment about the vehicle in the creek. Obviously worried about any type of fuel or other type of lubricant entering the waters.”

According to Lt. Allen Vorholt with the U.S. Coast Guard, crews did not see a visible sheen or find any evidence of oil or gas discharge. Ketchikan Creek is an anadromous fish stream and salmon are currently heading upstream to spawn. Vorholt says the Marine Safety Detachment will continue to monitor the area and asks if anyone does see signs of oil in the water, to make a report to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. 

Advisories were issued to avoid Park Avenue which is busy with pedestrians – mostly tourists – and cars and buses heading up to the Cape Fox restaurant and Ted Ferry Civic Center. Though traffic was delayed for a while, Mattson says the road is open.

“They were trying to get as many vehicles through, but still have that safety corridor for removal of the driver and just to make sure that the area was safe. So those that needed to transit quickly were given that opportunity,”

A barrier was placed across the broken railing. A section of Park Avenue will be closed Thursday morning for the bus to be removed.

After rolling downhill, an Alaska Coach Tours’ bus sits in Ketchikan Creek August 16, 2023 (KRBD staff photo by Maria Dudzak).