Posted on Apr 11, 2014 12:00am PDT

On April 10, 2014, at approximately 5:40 p.m., a Federal Express (FedEx) big rig truck collided with a tour bus containing high school students from southern California on its way to Humboldt State University located in northern California. According to CHP reports, the FedEx truck was traveling southbound on I-5 near Orland (a small rural community located north of Sacramento) when it crossed the center divide and struck the tour bus head-on, causing both vehicles to catch on fire.

The fiery collision has claimed the lives of 10 victims thus far, including the driver’s of both vehicles, and injured at least 30 others. Witnesses state that some students were able to break windows and escape the bus, but others weren't so fortunate. As many as 10 ground ambulances and 4 helicopters were sent to the area to evacuate the injured to local hospitals in Chico (Enloe Medical Center), Red Bluff (St. Elizabeth Community Hospital), Redding (Mercy Medical Center), and Sacramento (UC Davis Medical Center). The California Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) as well as investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are involved in investigating the collision.

Determining Negligence

Determining liability is not always as easy as it may seem. There are many reasons why a vehicle, such as a big rig truck, may cross the center divide into oncoming traffic. Possibilities include: fatigue (falling asleep at the wheel), mechanical failure (a tire blowout or steering component failure), driver error (over-reaction to drifting onto the soft shoulder of the roadway), medical incapacity (a heart attack or stroke), or other vehicle involvement, meaning that the loss of control was a result of the negligence of another driver. Other areas which need to be explored include the safety of the tour bus, the cause of the fire (perhaps the fire occurred as a result of a design defect with one or both vehicles), and whether the placement of a guardrail between the north and southbound lanes of the freeway could have prevented the collision from ever occurring.

Just and Fair Compensation

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Recoverable damages include, but are not limited to, compensation for medical and hospital expenses, lost wages (including the loss of future earning capacity), and pain and suffering. Wrongful death claimants may also seek damages for the loss of the decedents love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, and moral support.

Experience Matters

The Law Offices of Larry S. Buckley is a premier northern California law firm dedicated to helping accident victims and their families. We have the resources and expertise to handle catastrophic auto, truck and bus accident cases. We offer free legal consultations if you would like the merits of your claim reviewed. If we take your case, you pay nothing up front and will not be charged attorney’s fees unless a recovery is obtained on your behalf.

Time is of the Essence

Critical evidence is often lost and witness memories fade following an accident. There are also strict time lines (Statute of Limitations) which limit the amount of time that you have to present your claim or your right to recovery is forever lost.

Please contact the Law Office of Larry S. Buckley today for a free consultation. We may be reached anytime, 24 hours a day.

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