The death toll has risen to 10 and the injury toll to 34 so far in the fiery head-on crash between a bus carrying high school students from Glenn County and a delivery truck. The students on the bus were on their way to visit a northern California college when the FedEx truck collided with their vehicle, killing the drivers of the truck and the bus along with seven teenage students. Another student died later from injuries.
About 35 people were hospitalized after the crash.
Governor Jerry Brown extended his “heartfelt and deep sympathies” to the loved ones of those killed and injured and expressed gratitude to the Red Cross for their emergency personnel’s work in responding to the scene. The crash happened near Highway 32 in Orland, a town close to Sacramento in northern California.
The bus and the truck were on opposite sides of the interstate when, for unknown reasons, the truck crossed the median and slammed head-first into the bus. A fiery explosion shot massive flames into the air, and according to witnesses, the flames were seen “devouring” both vehicles. The scorched black hulks of the vehicles could be seen after the crash with yellow plastic draped over bodies in the bus.
Traffic has been diverted to Highway 99 while the police investigate the scene. Authorities believe that a passenger car that was also involved in the crash may have been the cause of the truck’s deflection into the median.
Many of the victims suffered burns, broken bones and head lacerations. A triage site was set up to tend to the wounded. Ten people were taken to a Chico medical center where two were listed in critical condition, two were listed in fair condition and six were undetermined. Another five were taken to another hospital and all are listed in fair condition. Some of the students are being treated for smoke inhalation.
Large-Scale Tragedies Lead To Questions
While any death from personal injury is always tragic, in a large-scale tragedy questions are raised as to how such a horrible event could have taken place. As in the limousine fire that claimed the life of several nurses last year, people wonder how a vehicle that should be safe could have such a dangerous flaw that it could cause this level of death and injury.
Unfortunately, the answer to that question, all too often, lies in human error. Because humans build and repair these vehicles, there is always a chance that the vehicle may have some hidden flaw. In this case, either the truck, the bus or both could have had some small problem that did not interfere with the operation of the vehicle but led to a huge explosion in a head-on crash.
When victims are injured or die in such a horrific accident, people want answers. Most importantly, they want the people responsible for these accidents held accountable. A personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit is designed to give victims or their survivors compensation for their pain, suffering and anguish, but also to hold accountable those whose negligence leads to this type of tragedy.
Demas Law Group, P.C., has had success in handling bus and truck accident cases of this type.