The victims’ loved ones are still seeking answers more than seven months after a fiery collision between a FedEx truck and a tour bus of high school students claimed 10 lives.
Around 5:30 p.m. on April 10, a FedEx truck crossed the median on Interstate 5 in Orland and crashed into a bus of high-school students on their way to tour a university. The truck burst into flames, which then proceeded to consume both vehicles. Five students and three adult chaperones died, along with the drivers, due to either asphyxiation from inhalation of smoke or blunt force trauma.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators have not yet reached a conclusion as to what went wrong. They do know that the driver of the FedEx truck was on his way back to Sacramento after having picked up two different trailers. However, they have not yet discovered any signs of negligence or recklessness on the part of the driver.
“He had a clean driving record,” said the widow of the truck driver. “He took his job extremely serious; he had a lot of integrity when it came to the trucks and the safety checks.”
She also stated that he had a full night’s rest before the trip and that phone records prove he wasn’t texting or talking on the phone at the time of the incident.
So, the question remains: what caused the crash?
There are some signs that point to mechanical malfunction being the primary cause of the deadly collision.
Although it hasn’t been substantiated by investigators, a witness account indicates that the FedEx truck may have already been on fire before the impact. Additionally, an autopsy revealed the truck driver to have died from inhaling fumes. The widow believes that the lack of brake marks at the scene of the accident clearly shows that the FedEx driver passed out from the fumes, which then led to the accident.
If the case for mechanical malfunction wasn’t strong enough already, there were two separate incidents of FedEx trucks catching on fire prior to the crash in Orland. In both cases, no collision was involved.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed by families of victims against FedEx. The major charter company has declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
At Demas Law Group, P.C., our leading injury attorneys cannot say for certain whether mechanical malfunction was really behind the crash. However, we agree that the suspect circumstances call for an extensive analysis of the truck’s operation and maintenance logs, witness testimonies and other important documents. Whatever the case may be, we hope that the victims’ families are able to find closure soon.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident, please don’t hesitate to call us today at (916) 444-0100. We can give you a comprehensive understanding of your rights and legal options and will fight hard to get you full and fair compensation for your damages. We offer free consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week.