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A group of high school students were excited about their possible futures of attending Humboldt State University. They were on their way to visit the college campus when a FedEx truck slammed into one of the three buses heading to Humboldt head on.
One of the student’s statements one twitter
I was asleep and next thing you know I was jumping out for my life. Bruised leg, eyebrow cut open, scratches all over my arm. …All my stuff that I packed is burned. I’m beyond thankful that I’m still here.
Lt. Bruce Carpenter with the California Highway Patrol said that the crash killed both drivers as well as five students and three chaperones. According to the report there were more than thirty people taken to the local hospitals for their injuries, most of those people were teenagers.
Identifying the dead was no easy task. Many of the bodies were in pretty bad shape, covered in cuts, contusions, burns, and bumps. One person was even on fire when the authorities arrived to the scene.
The 26 admissions counselor and recruiter – Arthur Arzola, at Humboldt State was one of the identified victims. He died at the hospital. However, it was pretty difficult to identify the other victims due to the burns they suffered. The Coroner’s office had to use the dental records to identify some of the bodies, for others they will use DNA.
The investigators are still looking into the cause of the crash. It happened around 5:45 in the evening on Interstate 5. Some witnesses told the investigators that the FedEx truck had sideswiped another car before crashing into the bus. Luckily the two people that was in that vehicle weren’t severely injured but did get checked out at the hospital.
FedEx Spokeswoman’s statement
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the tragic accident on I-5 in California. We are cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced that they will be sending a team to investigate the crash as well. This may take months to get some answers on what happened.
NTSB Member, Mark Rosekind’s statement
One, we’re going to be investigating the human, the machine and the environment, and what’s critical for us especially in highway accidents if for us to collect perishable information, the kind of information that goes away very quickly.And then the most important thing we can do is issue recommendations so that these kinds of accidents don’t happen again.
The Police worked fast to reunite the parents with the surviving teens. There were more than 40 teens on the buses, they were representing 31 different California High Schools. They were part of the “Spring Preview Plus” program. As part of the program, they teens would get to stay in the residence halls, visit with staff and other students, and attend events.
The other two buses that wasn’t in the crash, made it to the university safe and sound. Those students got to experience the trip and were also offered counseling.
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