U.S. News


Bus In Head-On Crash Killing 10 Was Carrying High Schoolers

The updated death toll from the fiery crash 100 miles north of Sacramento rose to 10 people. Witnesses called watching the aftermath horrible.
Posted at 9:22 AM, Apr 11, 2014

A fiery head-on crash in California kills 10 people, and police say they're surprised more didn't die. A bus involved in the crash was full of high school seniors.

REPORTER: "Horrified neighbors first heard the crash, then saw the bus and truck on fire."

WITNESS: "There were a couple of explosions after that."

REPORTER: "Eyewitnesses helpless as flames held them back."

WITNESS: "A lot of people screaming and begging for help." (Via KXTV)

The California Highway Patrol says around 5:30 Thursday evening, a FedEx truck crossed the median near Orland, California, slamming into the charter bus. (Via KRCR)

The students on board were headed to a college visit at Humboldt State University. (Via KOVR)

The Los Angeles Times reports among the 10 confirmed dead were the drivers of both the FedEx truck and the charter bus, five students and three chaperones.

The students on the bus were from an LA-area high school. A senior official from the Los Angeles Unified School District told the Times“It’s almost impossible to confirm who was on that bus because there were three buses.”

One of the students who continually tweeted pictures from his hospital bed the rest of the day Thursday posted, "cant believe this just happened. I was asleep and next thing you know i was jumping out for my life." (Via Twitter / @jonathanngee)

In an interview with CNN Friday morning, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said 35 people total were taken to the hospital with minor or moderate injuries.

TROOPER LACEY HEITMAN, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL: "It's very unusual. In fact, when I arrived on scene, I was surprised anyone walked away from the collision. As you can see, the damage is just horrendous." (Via CNN)

Police indicated it's possible the FedEx truck crossed the median while trying to avoid another car involved in the crash.

FedEx issued a statement Friday morning noting the company was fully cooperating with investigators. "All of us at FedEx are deeply saddened by the tragic highway accident in California.  Our hearts go out to all of those involved and their families."