Report: FedEx Truck That Hit California Charter Bus Was On Fire Before Crash

Source: Elijah Nouvelage /Getty Images News/Getty Images

Three days after a fiery bus crash on California's Interstate 5 that killed 10 people, investigators are still struggling to figure out exactly what caused the accident. Witnesses claim the FedEx truck that slammed into the bus on Thursday did not brake before it hopped the freeway median and that it was already on fire before the crash. The bus had been taking a group of high school students to a tour of Humboldt State University, and over 30 of the 44 students onboard were injured in addition to the 10 dead, a figure that includes both drivers.

The National Transportation Safety Board confirms that investigators did not find skid marks indicative of attempted braking at the crash site. However, officials said Saturday that the organization could not corroborate reports that the truck was on fire before the crash. One witness claims she saw flames coming from the lower rear of the truck's cab, saying, "It was in flames as it came through the median. ... It wasn’t like the whole thing was engulfed. It was coming up wrapping around him."

Initial police reports from the crash, though, bear no mention of a fire before the collision. Investigators are now looking to confirm the witness's report. Both vehicles, which became engulfed in the flames after impact, are too mangled and burned to give solid clues as to where, exactly, the fire started. The NTSB has instead set its eyes on blood tests to see if the FedEx driver inhaled smoke before the crash. It will also examine the black box-style recorder onboard the bus and assess its recommended safety measures and whether they were followed.


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