NTSB doesn't find evidence of fire before truck slammed into bus in Calif.
RED BLUFF, Calif. — Federal investigators said on Sunday that they haven't found physical evidence confirming a witness' claim that a FedEx truck was on fire before it slammed into a bus carrying high school students, killing 10 people in northern California.
National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind said investigators are not ruling out a pre-impact fire, but a fire expert did not find evidence of flames as the truck crossed a median, sideswiped a Nissan Altima and crashed into the bus.
“This is all preliminary and factual information,” Rosekind said at a news conference. “We are not ruling anything out.”
The bus was carrying 44 southern California high school students to a free campus tour of Humboldt State University. Many were hoping to become the first in their families to attend college. Five students, three adult chaperones and both drivers died, and dozens were injured in the collision on Thursday in Orland, a small city about 100 miles north of Sacramento.
Bonnie Duran, who drove the Altima and survived with minor injuries, told investigators and reporters on Saturday that she had seen flames emerging from the lower rear of the truck's cab as it approached her car. The bus was gutted, and the truck was a mangled mess when an explosion sent flames towering and black smoke billowing, making it difficult for investigators to track the source of the fire.