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Updated Wednesday, January 2, 2013 at 07:40 PM

'Terrible loss' as bus crash hits close to home

By Jack Broom, Keith Ervin and Carol M. Ostrom
Seattle Times staff reporters

A real-estate investor from Spanaway and a convenience-store owner from Lynnwood were among the nine passengers killed in Sunday's bus plunge in Eastern Oregon, and it's feared a college student from Bellevue was also among those who died.

Dale William Osborn, 57, of Spanaway, was officially identified as one of the nine who died in the Sunday accident, according to the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office.

Also among those killed was Yong Ho Lee, 75, of Lynnwood, her son said Tuesday.

In addition, friends and the college roommate of another bus passenger, Richard Sohn, 19, fear Sohn was among the dead.

Although Oregon police have not confirmed Sohn was among the fatalities, he was believed to have been on the bus and is not on the list of survivors.

Jonathan Kwon, Sohn's roommate at Seattle Pacific University, said news agencies in Korea have been reporting that Sohn died, citing Korean consulate officials in Vancouver, B.C.

"He was a selfless man, a very generous person who always cared about others and put God first in his life," Kwon said.

Those close to Sohn were trying to hold on to a slender thread of hope, based on the fact that Oregon officials had not confirmed his death.

Sohn's pastor at a Bothell church confirmed that his congregation had received sad news. "Our church and I are crushed by the news of his passing. We are in a season of mourning," said Justin Kim, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship. "Richard was an exceptional young man, who faithfully loved and served the Lord."

Oregon State Police said it could be a month before they finish investigating the wreck, in which a westbound bus struck a concrete barrier on Interstate 84 east of Pendleton, crossed the westbound lanes and plummeted 200 feet down a steep, snow-covered bank.

The South Korea Consulate is helping state authorities identify the four males and five females who died. One of the females may be a juvenile, the State Patrol reported.

In addition to the nine who died, 38 people were injured in the crash.

Dale Osborn

Osborn was vacationing with his wife, Darlene Sue Osborn, 65, who was injured but released Tuesday afternoon from St. Anthony Hospital in Pendleton.

A self-educated real-estate investor, he described himself on social-media sites as a real-estate investor, mobile-home-park owner/manager, and a "Jack of all Trades — Master of None."

He owned Lakeside Terrace Mobile Home Park on Spanaway Lake and Northwest Mobile Home Park in Lakewood near Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He was active in the Pacific Neighborhood Association, where he was a former treasurer.

"He was an important person in this community, and this is a terrible loss," said John Ruze, a friend who lived near Osborn's Lakewood property. "He's been a mentor to me; he's been a mentor to a lot of us."

Osborn was a very responsible and conscientious landlord, Ruze said.

James Sherman, who is married to the Osborns' eldest daughter, Jennifer, said his wife and her siblings, Alex Osborn and Kim Osborn, were traveling with their mother and did not want to talk with reporters.

Earlier, Alex and Kim told the East Oregonian newspaper that their parents were on a trip to tourist destinations, including Disneyland and SeaWorld in California and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. On Monday, Alex, 31, said he had unsuccessfully searched for their father, calling hospitals in Oregon and Washington.

Yong Ho Lee

Lee, of Lynnwood, immigrated from South Korea to Hawaii with her husband, Se Chong Lee, before moving to the Seattle area with him and their three sons. The couple operated convenience stores north of Seattle before retiring several years ago.

Lee and several friends had talked about taking the bus tour to Las Vegas and California with their husbands, Lee's son John said. When the husbands couldn't go, "They said, 'OK, us women are going to go on the trip.' It was like old ladies going on a road trip. It was kind of cute" — until disaster struck.

Yong Ho Lee was sitting next to her longtime friend Eun Sook Uhm, a retired nurse, when the bus tumbled down the embankment beside the freeway Sunday morning, Uhm's son Dan Uhm said.

"She was always thinking first of others, never herself," John Lee said of his mother. "She was a very great Christian and lived those values of a Christian mom."

She was a member of New Vision Church, an Assemblies of God church in Lynnwood.

Richard Sohn

Richard Sohn, a graduate of Newport High School in Bellevue and a sophomore at Seattle Pacific University, had a growing reputation as a videographer.

Known for his remarkably deep voice, Sohn played clarinet in school bands and was a drum major in the Newport High marching band, said his classmate and close friend Daniel Lee.

"He was the kindest kid ever," Lee said. "He never swore or anything. He was an extremely devout Christian. He was the first person who took me out to church. I'm still going to church."

When Lee's mother wanted menu photos and a video for her hamburger restaurant, Sohn created them and refused to take payment.

Sohn hadn't chosen a major in college because he wanted a career in filmmaking but knew his parents wanted him to choose a more secure profession, Lee said.

Sam Cho, a member of Sohn's church and creative director of HelloMonster, a clothing company where Sohn interned, called the young man one of the "most humble and unselfish people I know."

When Cho paid frequent visits to Sohn in his four-person dorm suite, he found that "Richard was the glue that kept everyone together."

Nate Heffter, who taught Sohn in two social-studies classes at Newport High, recalled the student's enthusiasm for filmmaking and Apple products. "He had a very quiet demeanor," Heffter said, "but wasn't overly shy. As a teacher I had to always pull him into the conversation, but he was always more than willing to contribute."

Richard Sohn's parents, Michael and Rachel Sohn, were also on the bus. His father remains in the hospital, but his mother has been released, according to KING5.

Information from

The Associated Press is included.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com


RANDY L. RASMUSSEN / AP
Workmen move the bus that plummeted 200 feet down an embankment in Eastern Oregon Sunday, killing nine. Oregon State Police said it could be a month before they finish investigating the accident.





Richard Sohn








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