Robert Accetta documents the damaged motorcoach. Courtesy NTSB
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating a crash involving a motorcoach and FedEx truck that occurred near Orland, Calif., and killed 10 passengers on April 10.
According to the NTSB, a truck tractor with two 28-foot trailers operated by FedEx Corp. was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 (I-5) in Orland, Calif., at the same time a motorcoach, operated by Silverado Stages Inc., and occupied by a driver, 43 high school students, and three adult chaperones, was traveling northbound on I-5 in the right traffic lane.
The FedEx vehicle moved to the left and entered the center median, drove through it and entered the northbound traffic lanes of I-5, where it collided with the left rear portion of a passenger car. The car was occupied by a driver and one passenger, and had just passed the motorcoach and moved back into the right lane of northbound I-5. The car rotated counterclockwise and departed the highway on the east side.
Following the impact with the passenger car, the FedEx vehicle collided with the motorcoach and both vehicles departed the highway and a post-crash fire ensued. The fire consumed the FedEx vehicle and partially burned the motorcoach.
The drivers of the FedEx vehicle and the motorcoach, as well as eight motorcoach passengers, were killed as a result of the crash. The other motorcoach passengers were injured to varying degrees and the occupants of the car received minor injuries.
The FedEx vehicle had departed from the FedEx facility in Sacramento, Calif., at about 10:00 a.m. The motorcoach, part of a chartered trip that began in Los Angeles, was taking high school students to Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., for a campus tour. The motorcoach had made a scheduled stop in Sacramento, Calif., where a replacement driver took over operation of the vehicle.
A preliminary report on the accident is available here.