California Bus Crash Report

FedEx Truck Causes Deadly Bus Accident

 Red CrossA fatal automobile accident in Northern California left 10 people dead, including five high school students, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.  The crash occurred when a FedEx truck driver veered across a median on the I-5 freeway and collided head-on with a bus transporting high school students.  The cause of the tragic trucking accident remains unknown, but the FedEx truck driver was reported as being among those killed in the crash.  Scott Frederick, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) lieutenant, said authorities aren’t yet sure whether the driver “had fallen asleep, whether his freight truck had some type of mechanical failure or if it was involved in a separate collision that preceded the fiery crash.”

What happened?  Currently, all the California Highway Patrol knows is that, by the time emergency medical responders arrived at the scene of the bus accident, the vehicle was “already engulfed in flames,” according to CHP Commander Bruce Carpenter.  He explained that “31 people were transported to seven hospitals with injuries ranging from minor to critical.”  Nine victims died at the scene of the accident, and another person passed away later from fatal burn injuries.  The driver of the FedEx truck, Tim Evans, and the driver of the bus, Talalelei Lealao-Taio, were among the ten victims of the deadly accident.  Five students and three adult chaperones also died from injuries sustained in the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has begun investigations into the cause of the accident, and its investigators will employ 3-D diagramming and “sophisticated surveying and mapping equipment” in order to reconstruct the events that ultimately resulted in the catastrophic truck accident.  The Sacramento Bee recently reported that the bus driver and the FedEx truck driver had clean driving records—neither had any recent moving violations on their records.

In addition to examining causes related to the FedEx driver and the vehicle he drove, NTSB investigators will also look into other factors, such as highway and weather conditions.  As of now, investigation teams predict that they won’t have any definite answers for months.  The NTSB did indicate that the truck driver hadn’t attempted to brake before his truck collided with the school bus, according to an article in CBS San Francisco.  Investigators continue to seek out witnesses.

California Truck Accident Statistics

When vehicles collide with large trucks, drivers and passengers often sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), trucks tend to be larger and heavier than other vehicles on the California highways, so they’re likely to cause more severe impacts in traffic collisions.

The California Highway Patrol has been involved in the investigation of the recent truck accident that caused the deaths of 10 people.  Each year, the CHP gathers statistics about truck accidents in California and maintains that data in a Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.  According to recent statistics, the number of truck accidents continues to rise in California and across the country.

More than 5,000 truck accidents resulted in serious injuries in our state in 2010, and that number rose to more than 5,100 in 2011.  In addition to severe personal injuries, truck accidents often cause fatal injuries.  In 2010, the CHP reported a total of 214 fatal truck crashes, and that number rose to 250 fatal collisions the following year.  Across the country, the NHTSA reported approximately 88,000 injuries related to truck accidents and more than 3,700 fatalities.

While a truck driver’s negligence can result in a dangerous truck accident or bus crash, other factors can also bring about a severe traffic collision.  Have you lost a loved one in a serious truck crash?  An experienced California truck accident lawyer can answer your questions today.

Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

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