Last Thursday in Red Bluff, a FedEx truck hurtled into oncoming traffic, striking a school bus and killing 10 people, and NTSB officials are racing to find out why.
Around 5:40 p.m. On Thursday, a Fedex truck driven by Tim Evans, 32, of Elk Grove, went speeding across a 58-foot median on I-5, striking a Nissan Altima, then consequently striking a school bus carrying underprivileged students on a preview trip to Humboldt State University, killing 10 of the passengers including the driver.
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are currently investigating the tragic scene, where a FedEx truck crossed the southbound side of the I-5 freeway to the northbound side, striking two vehicles.
There is evidence, including brake marks that shows the bus moved to the right, to possibly avoid the oncoming truck. However, NTSB officials will not draw conclusions, only saying “factually that’s pretty critical information.”
What remains even more murky is the actions of the FedEx Truck. Unlike the bus, a 2014 model equipped with GPS and trip data recorder, the Fedex truck’s black-box recording device could not be retrieved, wiping away untold evidence. And even the bus’ data record is decided by the owner/operator, leaving the NTSB lab in Washington, DC to figure out exactly what was on the tape.
Investigators are still picking up the pieces, but can corroborate at least one point of detail mentioned by eyewitnesses. It was reported that the FedEx truck was possibly on fire or emitting smoke before crashing into traffic.
This coupled with the lack of tire marks or any indication of the usage of brakes, raises even more questions about why the FedEx truck sped through a busy freeway.
Although only one victim has been officially identified due to the bus’ extremely burned condition, families have come forward to identify missing loved ones. And while the Coroner’s Office has requested dental records to confirm victim identities, nine have already been identified:
“Marisa Serrato, 17, of Norte Vista High School in Riverside; Adrian Castro, 18, of El Monte High School; Ismael Jimenez, 18, of Animo Charter in Inglewood; Denise Gomez, 18, also of Animo Charter; Jennifer Bonilla, of Dorsey High School in Crenshaw; Arthur Arzola, 26, a Los Angeles-based admissions counselor for Humboldt State University; Michael Myvett, 29, a Humboldt alumnus chaperoning the trip; Myvett’s fiancee, Mattison Haywood, 25, an artist who was studying to be a doctor.”
As the investigation presses on, memorials have sprung up for the victims of the horrific accident. In Inglewood and at El Monte High School in El Monte, students and families have come together to celebrate the lives lost in the crash, with candlelight vigils being held almost nightly.
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