A fiery bus crash on Interstate 5 in Northern California claimed the lives of nine people, some of them high school students on their way to a college campus tour over Spring Break. The crash happened at about 5:41 pm Pacific Time Thursday, when a FedEx truck somehow swerved over a highway meridian and slammed into the tour bus head on.
Officials at Humboldt State University said that the students were on their way there to visit the campus when the tragic bus crash took place.
“Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible,” said university President Rollin Richmond.
The drivers of the FedEx semi truck and the tour bus were killed. The other fatalities of the bus crash were students. There were also more than 30 injuries at the scene of the crash, when the bus exploded into flame.
“It was insane,” said a witness, Marc Smutny, 27. “The bus was engulfed in flames, smoke in and out of the front,” Smutny said. “The bus looked like it took most of the hit. It was horrible.”
The bus crash happened on a stretch of I-5 near Orland, about 100 miles of Sacramento.
“The victims were teenage kids,” said Jason Wyman of the Orland Volunteer Fire Department. “A lot of them were freaked out. They were shocked. They still couldn’t grasp what happened. You hear about it in the news, but you never seen anything like that.”
An official with the Los Angeles Unified School District said that there were LAUSD students on the bus, but he had no exact count of how many, but he said that at least one LAUSD student was injured in the bus crash.
The California Highway Patrol said that the FedEx truck was heading southbound may have been swerving to avoid another vehicle, which was also involved in the bus crash incident. The truck crossed the grassy meridian and into the northbound lanes where it crashed into the bus carrying 46 passengers.
The truck struck a Nissan Altima before the crash head-on into the bus.
Image: KRCR TV