High School Bus Bursts Into Flames In Horrific Highway Crash, Killing 10 Passengers

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carA high school tour bus crashed into a FedEx truck on a North California highway Thursday afternoon, leading to a horrific accident.

Both vehicles burst into flames just after the collision, and 10 passengers were killed. Five of the passengers killed were teenagers, along with four chaperones and both drivers of the vehicles.

The crash occurred while taking students on a tour to Humboldt State University. 50 students were on the bus in total:

The crash happened a little after 5:30 p.m. on Interstate 5 near Orland, a small city about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

A CHP dispatcher said the bus and truck were on opposite sides of Interstate 5 when the FedEx truck crossed a grass median, hit a vehicle and then 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, which shut down north- and south-bound traffic on the freeway.

The bus tour was commissioned by the admissions office at Humboldt University to bring prospective students to visit the campus. The aftermath of the accident was chaotic, as expected, since University police had to contact different school districts to determine which students were on the bus in order to notify their parents.

In addition to accident fatalities, an estimated 37 people were injured with broken bones, minor burns, and lacerations. The Orland Volunteer Fire Department was quoted as saying, “The victims were teenage kids. A lot of them were freaked out. They were shocked. They still couldn’t grasp what happened.”

With all the accidents that have been in the news lately, I cannot imagine what these kids are going through. I also cannot imagine how the parents of the victims must feel after learning that their children were involved in a horrific crash.

There is never a good way to justify such a tragic accident, but it always seems to hit closer to home when kids are involved. I don’t have teenagers yet, but the idea of losing one of my kids on the way to tour a college and plan for the future makes me sick to my stomach. I hope the surviving teenagers can get the support and help they need to get past the trauma of this accident.

(Image: getty images)