UPDATE: Investigators probe deadly bus crash

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press
At least four survivors of yesterday

Credit: KRCR

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ORLAND, Calif. (AP) -- At least four survivors of yesterday's deadly bus crash in northern California are hospitalized in critical condition.

Eleven people were taken to a hospital in Chico, where two were listed in critical condition this morning. At least seven people were hospitalized elsewhere, and two of them are critical.

The crash left 10 people dead, including nine people on board the bus -- which was taking high school students to visit the campus of Humboldt State University. In addition to the drivers of the truck and the bus, the victims included five teenage students and three adult chaperones.

A sheriff says most of those who died were found on the ground in front of the bus or in the front portion of the bus. He says identifying the victims might require the use of dental records or DNA.

Investigators say the bus and truck were on opposite sides of the freeway when the truck crossed the median and slammed into the bus, causing an explosion and fire. They say the truck driver might have been trying to avoid a passenger car that was also involved in the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate.

The 44 teens who were on the bus -- nearly half from Los Angeles -- were taking part in a program in which prospective low-income or first-generation college students are invited to visit the campus.


Previous story:

The California Highway Patrol says it does not yet know what caused a FedEx tractor-trailer to veer across a grassy highway median and slam into a bus, killing 10 people.

Lt. Scott Fredrick said at a news conference Friday that investigators will try to determine whether the FedEx driver fell asleep, experienced mechanical failure or lost control because of a separate collision on the southbound side of the freeway. It also will probe roadway and weather conditions.

The investigation could take as long as six months.

The bus was carrying more than 40 high school students on their way to visit Humboldt State University when it was struck by the FedEx tractor-trailer Thursday.

The crash occurred on Interstate 5 in Orland, a city about 150 miles northeast of San Francisco.


Previous story:

The California Highway Patrol says the drivers of a FedEx delivery truck and a charter bus carrying high school students on a college visit are among the ten people killed in a fiery crash on Interstate 5.

The CHP says investigators think the other eight fatalities were all people riding on the bus, but have not yet confirmed whether they were all teenage students.

A CHP dispatcher says the bus and truck were on opposite sides of the freeway when the truck crossed a grass median and slammed into the bus, causing an explosion and fire.

Investigators say the truck driver might have been trying to avoid a passenger car that was also involved in the crash.

EARLIER:Authorities say nine people have been killed in a three-vehicle crash that has shut down north- and south-bound traffic on Interstate 5 near Orland in Northern California.

California Highway Patrol dispatcher Curtis Pahlka says authorities received a report of the crash at 5:41 p.m. Thursday.

Pahlka says it is not yet clear what caused the crash but that it involved a tour bus, a FedEx truck and a Nissan Altima.


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