Students from Buckeye, Arizona were injured and shaken up after their school bus was hit from behind by a semi-truck and pushed into another semi-truck in front of them. The accident happened in Needles, California, and resulted in injuries and cancellation of the volleyball tournament they were traveling to.
California is home to frequent crashes involving semi-trucks, and the Needles truck crash is just one of a flurry of truck accidents in the state in the last week, some of which have been fatal.
33 Students on Board School Bus When Hit By Big Rig
September 28, 2017
A group of athletes from Buckeye Union High School in Arizona was involved in a crash involving two semi-trucks in Needles, California, not far from the Arizona border on northbound U.S. 95. The 33 student-athletes and three coaches were on their way to Mohave High School to compete in a set of freshmen, junior varsity, and varsity volleyball games when the accident occurred, at approximately 12:48 p.m.
The school bus carrying the students and coaches was within a construction zone, near 5-Mile Road, and had stopped for the construction when a semi-truck following the bus hit it from behind, pushing it into another semi-truck in front of the bus. Images from the crash show the front of the school bus crushed and curved inward.
Initial reports indicated that nine students were injured in the Needles truck crash, but California Highway Patrol (CHP) ultimately revealed that eight students sustained moderate injuries. Five of those eight students were transported to a hospital; four were taken by ambulance, and one was taken by helicopter.
The Buckeye Union High School District sent a separate school bus to pick up the rest of the students, who were then transported to Colorado River Medical Center in Needles for age-required examinations. No coaches were injured, but the driver of the bus remained trapped in the vehicle briefly before being extricated, without injury.
Zdenko Radic, the Mohave High School volleyball coach, said that upon news of the Needles truck crash, the team’s attention quickly turned from the game to the players involved.
“We wondered, ‘Are they OK? How bad is it?’,” Radic recalled. “It’s not about the game anymore. ‘Are the kids, coaches and bus driver, are they all OK? Is it really bad’?”
Sanitation Worker Killed by Runaway Trash Truck in La Jolla
October 2, 2017
An unidentified sanitation work in La Jolla is dead after the trash collection truck he was driving rolled into him, crushing him. Conflicting reports have indicated that the man was either 22 or 30 years old.
The fatal accident occurred around 11:00 a.m. as the sanitation worker worked in an alley off Torrey Pines Road. Officials believe the man was trying to reconnect a dumpster to his Tayman trash truck when the truck rolled into him and pinned him against a concrete wall.
Afterward, San Diego Police Commander Lt. Charles Lara spoke on the severity of the injuries.
“That injury, the pressure of that truck against a human body, is not survivable,” Lara said in an interview with La Jolla Light. “If he did not die on the scene, I suspect he will die on route to the hospital.”
Lara’s predictions were later proven correct when the sanitation worker was pronounced dead at the trauma center he was taken to.
Semi Overturns, Injuring Four and Trapping One on the 91
October 2, 2017
A big rig with a load of sand and gravel overturned on the 91 Freeway westbound in Buena Park, wreaking havoc on traffic in the area and injuring four people. Three passenger vehicles were involved in the truck accident, which shut down all westbound lanes of the freeway.
CHP officials say that the semi overturned at approximately 10:07 a.m. and that one person in one of the other vehicles was trapped inside the wreckage and had to be freed by emergency personnel.
A team was sent to clean up the spilled debris from the tractor-trailer. Officials reopened the lanes for traffic at 12:30 p.m.
Woman Killed in Fresno Crash Involving Two Semis
October 2, 2017
A few days after the Needles truck crash, another accident involving two semi-trucks left a 35-year-old woman dead. The woman, identified as Alma Bernice Gordillo Zuniga, was traveling in a Ford F-150 at what the CHP has said was a “high-rate of speed” on northbound Highway 99, south of Fresno.
Zuniga ended up colliding with both semi-trucks and was pronounced dead at the scene after efforts to save her life by paramedics and the Fresno Fire Department proved unsuccessful.
FedEx Truck Crashes Off Route 905 Bridge, Killing Driver
September 26, 2017
A FedEx truck and a 2013 Hyundai Elantra were involved in a fatal crash in the Otay Mesa area of San Diego that resulted in the FedEx truck driver’s death.
Officials say the incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. on State Route 905 when the 30-year-old woman driving the Hyundai attempted to pass the FedEx truck on the right side. Both vehicles lost control, and the FedEx truck ended up breaking through a metal bridge railing and crashing onto the roadway below. The 55-year-old driver died instantly.
The driver of the Hyundai was not the only one inside the vehicle, with an adult male and four children traveling as passengers. None of the five were injured in the crash, despite the Hyundai also colliding with a metal bridge railing.