10 Dead, 34 Injured After FedEx Truck Slams Into Bus Full Of Students On A College Visit [Video]

Video After The Jump

ORLAND, Calif. (Associated Press) — A college visit by more than 40 high school students turned tragic when a FedEx tractor-trailer veered across a grassy highway median and slammed into their bus in a fiery wreck that left 10 people dead, authorities said.

APTOPIX California Bus Crash

Someone kicked out a window on the bus, and many of those aboard squeezed through and ran for their lives to the other side of Interstate 5 before the vehicle exploded in flames.

 Survivors wait to be transported at the scene of a collision of a tractor-trailer and a tour bus on Interstate 5 near Highway 32 near Orland, California, April 10, 2014, in this handout courtesy of the Chico Enterprise Record. At least nine people were killed and 32 injured in the crash which happened after the driver of the truck lost control of the vehicle, crossed over a divider on Interstate 5, hit a passenger vehicle and then the tour bus that was carrying high school students. Mandatory Credit REUTERS/Dan Reidel/Chico Enterprise Record/Handout via Reuters (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER TRANSPORT EDUCATION) ATTENTION EDITORS � THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. MANDATORY CREDIT. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

The 44 teenagers aboard, nearly half of from the Los Angeles school district, were on their way to Humboldt State University in far Northern California.

Steven Clavijo, a high school senior from Santa Clarita who planned to enroll the school, was trying to catch a nap when he felt the vehicle begin to shake from left to right and then he heard a loud boom.

"We knew we were in major trouble," he said.

After he escaped, two more explosions soon followed. Clavijo and other survivors looked on knowing others were still trapped in the inferno.

Both drivers were killed, along with three adult chaperones and five teenage students, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Towering flames devoured both vehicles just after the crash, and clouds of smoke billowed into the sky until firefighters doused the fire, leaving behind scorched black hulks of metal. Bodies were draped in blankets inside the burned-out bus.

California Bus Crash

Three buses were traveling as a convoy and only one was involved in the crash, said Earl Perkins, assistant superintendent of operations for the Los Angeles schools district.


Nineteen of the students on the bus were from the Los Angeles schools, Perkins said.

The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team to investigate.

"Every piece of paper associated with this will be looked at," said Eric M. Weiss, an NTSB spokesman.

The crash happened a little after 5:30 p.m. on the interstate near Orland, a small city about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

APTOPIX California Bus Crash

The bus was one of two that the admissions office at Humboldt State had chartered to bring prospective students from Southern California to tour the Arcata campus, Humboldt's Vice President of Administrative Affairs Joyce Lopes said.

The bus was owned by Silverado Stages, a tour bus company based in San Luis Obispo. The company said in a statement on its website Thursday night that it was assisting authorities in gathering information.

California Bus Crash

"Our top priority is making sure that the injured are being cared for," the company said.

Crisis counselors were also being made available at Los Angeles schools.

Sabrina Garcia, a high school senior from Los Angeles, said the tour began Thursday, with buses taking students in Southern California on the ride to the campus for a three-day stay. She said she decided to postpone the tour because she had a school project to complete.

"I was devastated when I heard about the crash, and relieved that I didn't attend," Garcia said. "I can't imagine how those kids feel. You think you're going somewhere safe with your school — and you end up in an accident."

A CHP dispatcher says the bus and truck were on opposite sides of the freeway when the truck crossed the median and slammed into the bus, causing an explosion and fire.

Investigators say the truck driver might have been trying to avoid a passenger car that was also involved in the crash, which shut down north and southbound traffic on the freeway.

 A California Highway Patrol Officer inspects the demolished cab of a FedEX truck that crashed into a tour bus in an fiery accident that claimed at least nine lives including the driver of the truck on Interstate 5 Thursday, April 10, 2014,in Orland, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

"There was a small white sedan in front of the truck," Heitman said. "The FedEx vehicle did sideswipe the sedan before it crossed the median."

No one in the car was injured.

A first responder who helped set up a triage at the scene said 36 or 37 people were hurt, with injuries that included burns, broken legs and noses and head lacerations.

"The victims were teenage kids. A lot of them were freaked out. They were shocked. They still couldn't grasp what happened," said Jason Wyman of the Orland Volunteer Fire Department.

Eleven people were taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico. Two of those patients were listed in critical condition Friday morning, the hospital said.

At least seven people were hospitalized at other facilities. Two of them were in critical condition and five others in fair condition.

A FedEx spokeswoman said the company was cooperating with authorities as they investigate.

Charter bus tragedy: Students among several killed in fiery California crash

California Bus Crash - 10 Students Killed In Fiery Crash

Associated Press report

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Comment by 1THUG aka Tha NYCHA LEGEND!! on April 12, 2014 at 11:06am
Juss anotha examppa on why you should not go to college!!
Comment by 1THUG aka Tha NYCHA LEGEND!! on April 12, 2014 at 11:04am
Where tha fugg my package at negga?? I gotta step out...leave my shet wit tha neighbors...fuggin FedEx neggaz always tryna get outta deliverin ya shet!!
Comment by Instant Classic Productionz on April 12, 2014 at 12:46am
God bless everyone involved.
Comment by Pandaemonium on April 11, 2014 at 5:03pm
crazy days these are. r.i.p. to all those who died.
Comment by G-Unit_Soldier_420 on April 11, 2014 at 4:15pm
it happened right by my house :( god bless the ppl rip
Comment by Ze' on April 11, 2014 at 3:29pm
^^Cus thay made it^^
Comment by Lux on April 11, 2014 at 3:03pm
Umm why does it look like some of those kids are smiling?
Comment by Sizzurpurple on April 11, 2014 at 12:31pm
I stare at the arrow everytime I see a FedEx truck

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