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FedEx Truck Slams into Bus, 10 killed, 32 injured in Northern California

Posted on April 11, 2014

West Ranch High School Seniors Killed in FedEx Orland Crash en Route to Humboldt University

Officials are not sure about the exact causes behind the fiery Orland FedEx big rig and charter bus accident that left 10 people dead and dozens injured. The people on the bus were a mixture of seniors and chaperones from West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita. They were on their way to Humboldt University, near the Oregon border for a four day trip.

English: Federal Experss long-distance ground ...

English: Federal Experss long-distance ground delivery truck (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Humboldt State University is deeply saddened by a tragic accident… involving a charter bus filled with prospective students,” the university in Arcata, Calif said in a statement. “They were on their way to visit campus for the April 11 Spring Preview event. Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible.”

The accident happened at approximately 5:41 p.m. on Thursday. Investigators have a vague idea of how the accident happened. An investigative team from Washington’s National Transportation Safety Board on the scene discovered that the FedEx truck swerved to avoid hitting another vehicle first. The driver of the FedEx big rig then lost control and slammed the big rig head-on with the charter bus.  It resulted in the death of the drivers of the vehicles, five students, and three chaperones.

Officials are in disbelief that there weren’t more deaths after looking at the crash site. More than thirty people were on the charter bus when it collided with the big rig. Many of them managed to escape through a window that someone had kicked out while the bus was on fire. Those that managed to make it out on time heard the bus explode.

“The victims were teenage kids. A lot of them were freaked out. They were shocked. They still couldn’t grasp what happened,” Jason Wyman with the Orland Volunteer Fire Department told reporters.

Emergency officials on site said that at least 37 students needed medical attention for broken bones, burns, cuts and other injuries. Helicopters came and took several students with critical injuries to various hospitals. Others went to the emergency room via ambulance on ground.

There was not much left of the bus but a skeleton crushed at the front. All of the cloth was burned off its seats, only leaving metal frames behind.

A FedEx spokeswoman declined to answer questions Friday but issued a statement on behalf of the company. She said the company was “deeply saddened by the tragic highway accident” and that it was cooperating with the investigation.

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