Deadly bus crash investigation shifts focus

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LOS ANGELES – The investigation into what caused a FedEx freight truck to cross a median and slam into a charter bus in Northern California, killing 10 people, is shifting to Los Angeles.

BusCrash1

A FedEx truck collided with a charter bus carrying high school students and adult chaperones in Orland.
COURTESY: JEREMY LOCKETT \ J. LOCKETT PHOTOGRAPHY

The investigation into what caused a FedEx freight truck to cross a median and slam into a charter bus in Northern California, killing 10 people, is shifting to Los Angeles.

On the itinerary for investigators: meeting with Silverado Stages, the company that owned and operated the bus involved in the collision, and interviewing student survivors of the accident, mainly in the Los Angeles area.

Investigators continue to examine the scene of the crash, which occurred at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Interstate 5 in Orland. Despite some witness accounts, Mark Rosekind, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators found no physical evidence that the FedEx truck was on fire before the collision.

PHOTOS: Deadly bus crash

The bus was carrying 48 people, including 44 Southern California high school students who were on their way to Humboldt State University for an orientation program. In all, five students were killed, three adult chaperons and the drivers of the two vehicles.

All of the dead, except for the two drivers, have been accounted for and identified by family members.

On Sunday, Rosekind said looking at “fatigue, distraction and other human performance issues” is a priority. The FedEx driver was based in Sacramento and had taken a load of freight to a town just south of the Oregon border earlier on the day of the crash. The driver picked up two semitrailers — one partly loaded, the other empty — and was returning to Sacramento when the accident occurred.

Rosekind said that the truck left no skid marks, on either the roadway or the median, as it veered into oncoming traffic. In contrast, more than 145 feet of tire marks indicated that the bus driver tried to stop and swerve to the right.

“That driver was clearly reacting to a situation with braking and a driving maneuver,” he said.

Read more at latimes.com