One of the scariest and most devastating aspects of bus accidents is the potential for mass injuries and casualties. Although buses tend to offer more protection to passengers than smaller vehicles do, bus accidents involving trucks and similarly large vehicles can be devastating.
That was the grim reminder in fatal bus accident occurring last week in northern California. The crash is still being investigated and many questions have yet to be answered. What investigators do know, however, is that 10 people lost their lives and dozens more were injured when a FedEx truck collided with a bus and both vehicles became engulfed in flames.
At the time of the crash, the bus was carrying about four dozen occupants; most of which were high school students on a trip to tour colleges. Of the ten deceased victims, five were students. Three adult chaperones were also killed along with the drivers of both vehicles.
The FedEx driver veered into oncoming traffic and struck a sedan before ultimately hitting the bus. The truck left no skid marks, suggesting that the driver did not try to brake before the crash. The sedan driver reported seeing flames coming out of the truck even before impact with the bus, and this claim is being investigated. If a fire was present, excessive smoke inhalation could explain why the truck driver lost control of the vehicle and did not attempt to stop.
After a tragedy like this, victims and their families are left with more questions than answers. And this lack of closure only makes the grief harder to bear. For the sake of all involved, we must hope that investigators discover and disclose important information as soon as possible.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times, “NTSB examines claim truck was on fire before crash,” Fenit Nirappil and Joan Lowy, April 13, 2014