18 Wheeler Crashes Into School Bus — Disaster In California

There is terrible news out of California today. A FedEx truck collided into a bus full of students, leaving at least 10 dead and many more seriously injured. The crash occurred in Orland, about 100 miles north of Sacramento. My heart goes out to the families of the students and those injured.

A group of low-income and first-generation prospective college students were the victims of a fiery freeway crash. Five of those killed were students.

Three buses, two from Los Angeles and one from Fresno, were driving Thursday evening to Humboldt State University in Arcata when a FedEx truck crossed a median and slammed head-on into one of the buses.

Both drivers were killed along with five students and three chaperones, according to Lt. Bruce Carpenter with the California Highway Patrol. At least 34 people were taken to area hospitals for injuries.

The crash resulted in an inferno that engulfed the truck and bus. Black smoke spewed high into the sky above.

The reason the FedEx truck crossed the median remains under investigation, the Highway Patrol said. The driver may have fallen asleep, been taking intoxicating drugs or drunk, texting, or sustained a mechanical breakdown. The investigation could take months.

Here is a preliminary sketch of the scene:

I’ve been handling commercial truck cases for 34 years and this is one of the most tragic stories I can remember in a long time. Readers of my blog know that I am constantly railing at how laxly the FMCSA standards regulating drivers and their companies are enforced. And my daughter got a college scholarship and recently graduated, so I know how excited the students and their parents must have been. What should be a joyous and proud time turned tragic in an split second.

I hope the police can determine the reason for what caused this catastrophe, prevent this from happening to other innocent people, and that the victims and their families receive the compensation they deserve for their horrific losses.

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