The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report into a bus crash that killed 10 people in Orland.
The text of the report is below. Details relating to fault and cause, if learned, will not be released until publication of a final report, which could take months.
The information in this report is preliminary and will be
supplemented or corrected during the course of the investigation.
"On Thursday, April 10, 2014, about 5:40 pacific daylight time, a 2007 Volvo truck tractor in combination with two 28-foot trailers operated by FedEx Corporation was traveling southbound in the right lane of Interstate 5 (I-5) in Orland, California. At the same time, a 2014 Setra 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. In the vicinity of milepost 26.02, the FedEx combination vehicle moved to the left, departing the southbound traffic lanes and entering the 58-foot wide center median. The vehicle drove through a line of oleander bushes in the center of the median and entered the northbound traffic lanes of I-5. It collided with the left rear portion of a white 2013 Nissan Altima four-door passenger car, occupied by a driver and one passenger, which had just passed the Sentra motorcoach and moved back into the right lane of northbound I-5. The Nissan rotated counterclockwise and departed the highway on the east side. Following the impact with the passenger car, the combination vehicle collided with the motorcoach, and both vehicles departed the highway to the east.
A post-crash fire ensued. The fire consumed the combination vehicle and partially burned the motor coach. The front of the motorcoach received significant damage that exposed the vehicle's interior.
As a result of the collision, the drivers of both the combination vehicle and motorcoach were fatally injured. Eight motorcoach passengers were also fatally injured. The remaining passengers received injuries of varying degree. The occupants of the Nissan passenger car received minor injuries. The combination vehicle had originally departed from the FedEx facility in Sacramento, California, at about 10:00 a.m. and drove to Weeds (sic), California (located in Siskiyou County, approximately 49 miles south of the Oregon border), where the driver delivered two trailers. At about 3:30 p.m., the driver picked up two other 28-foot trailers and was en route back to Sacramento when the accident occurred. The motorcoach, part of a chartered trip originating from Los Angeles, California, was taking high school students to Humboldt University, in Arcata, California, for a tour of the campus. The motorcoach had made a scheduled stop in Sacramento, where a replacement driver took over operation of the vehicle."