Preliminary Report on Orland FedEx Truck Crash Released, No Word on Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released their preliminary report on the April 10 crash between a tour bus filled with Southern California high school students and a double trailer FedEx truck. NTSB officials have yet to state what caused the truck to cross over the median into oncoming traffic.

The preliminary report does include timeline information on the events leading up to the devastating accident. Below is a rundown of the key moments before the two vehicles collided.

FedEx Truck

  • The 2007 Volvo truck trailer operated by FedEx Freight originally departed from a FedEx facility in Sacramento at around 10:00 a.m. and drove to Weeds (Siskiyou County, roughly 49 miles south of the Oregon border).
  • The driver delivered two trailers, then picked up two other 28-foot trailers at around 3:30 p.m. The truck then departed for Sacramento.

Setra Model Tour Bus

  • The 2014 Setra model bus was operated by Silverado Stages Inc. The chartered trip began in Los Angeles, California, and was taking 43 high school students and three adult chaperones to Humboldt State University for a tour of the campus. The bus made a scheduled stop in Sacramento where a replacement driver took over driving duties.

Timeline

  • In the moments before the accident, the FedEx truck was in the right lane on the southbound side of Interstate 5.
  • The bus was in the right lane on the northbound side of Interstate 5 prior to the impact.
  • The FedEx truck began to move left in the vicinity of milepost 26.02, then crossed over the 58-foot wide center median. The truck drove through a line of oleander bushes in the median, then entered northbound lanes.
  • The first vehicle the FedEx truck hit was a 2013 Nissan Altima, which had just passed the bus and moved back into the right lane on the northbound side of I-5. The truck struck the rear left portion of the Altima, rotating the vehicle counterclockwise. The Altima left the roadway on the east side. Both the driver and passenger of the Altima sustained minor injuries.
  • After striking the Altima, the FedEx truck collided with the tour bus, sending both vehicles off the roadway on the east side.
  • The impact caused both the FedEx truck and the bus to catch fire. The truck was consumed in flames. The front end of the bus sustained significant damage, which exposed the interior of the bus to fire.

Baum Hedlund will continue to post updates on the Orland FedEx crash investigation as they happen.

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