U.S. News


Witnesses: FedEx Truck Was On Fire Before Head-On Crash

A Seattle-based couple told reporters the FedEx truck was already on fire when it crossed the median, hit their car, then crashed into the tour bus.
Posted at 8:21 PM, Apr 12, 2014

As investigators continue to look into the head-on collision in northern California that killed 10 and injured dozens more, an eyewitness account from a couple nearly involved in the wreck sheds new light on how the whole thing might've started. 

Reporter: "So the FedEx truck was already on fire?"

Bonnie Duran: "Yes, it was." ​(Via KOVR)

Joe and Bonnie Duran told KOVR the FedEx was already ablaze when it unexpectedly crossed the median, clipped their car, then crashed into a bus carrying more than 40 high school students. 

"This is the first time we're hearing there may have been a specific problem with the FedEx truck as it was coming through the center divide. Investigators have said they're exploring the possibility there was a mechanical issue." (Via KNBC)

Investigators have said they're attempting to salvage parts of the wreckage, like a tracking device that could give information on speed and sudden braking, but the fire damage has made that task difficult. (Via ABC)

Meanwhile, Businessweek reports other U.S. agencies are looking into the cause of the wreck and focusing attention on FedEx. A risk manager told the magazine the truck's double-trailer setup had a reputation for being dangerous and the back could "swing around or jackknife." 

According to KCBS, "FedEx Freight has a satisfactory rating and good safety record – better than 99 percent of similar companies across the country." But KCBS also pointed out that the company has had several maintenance and driver violations over the past two years. FedEx has agreed to cooperate with investigators. 

As for the victims, KNBC says the bodies of seven of the 10 victims who died in the crash have been identified, with the remaining autopsies scheduled to be completed Saturday.