Last April, a deadly bus accident occurred in Northern California when a Federal Express delivery truck driver traveling south inexplicably swerved across Interstate 5 into the northbound lanes and crashed into a charter bus carrying high school students from the Los Angeles area. The accident happened around 5:40 p.m. when the truck, which was hauling two 28-foot trailers drove across the median of Interstate 5 near Orland. There was no fence or wall to prevent traffic from entering the oncoming lanes. The truck initially hit the back of a passenger vehicle and then hit the front of the bus carrying the high school students. The students were on their way to Humboldt State University in Arcata to attend weekend orientation program. Upon impact, the truck and the bus caught fire. Both the driver of the truck and the driver of the bus were killed, as well as five students and three of their adult chaperones.
Investigating the Cause of the Accident
During the investigation of the accident, investigators were not able to determine whether the truck driver fell asleep or suffered an incapacitating medical problem, such as a heart attack, stroke or aneurism, before the devastating accident that killed ten and injured thirty nine people. Some witnesses suggested that the driver looked pale or unhealthy before he started his shift that morning, but there was no way to verify this, or verify whether it was a factor in the accident. Instead, the evidence indicated that the Federal Express truck driver was in good health and was well-rested before the accident. Therefore, he was not in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rules regulating the number of hours a truck driver can be on-duty between rest periods. There was also no indication that the driver had drugs or alcohol in his system that could have negatively affected his performance. Moreover, the evidence revealed that the Federal Express truck itself was mechanically sound and the driver was well trained. The driver had no history of accidents or traffic violations, and he had all of the proper certifications.
Ordinarily, accidents involving large trucks and commercial vehicles can be linked to truck driver fatigue, truck mechanical problems, and drug or alcohol abuse, among other causes. Thus, it is uncommon that investigators are not able to determine a cause of the accident, as was the case with this accident involving the Federal Express delivery truck. Unfortunately, the families of the victims of this terrible accident are left with unanswered questions as to why or how they lost their loved ones.
Experienced Delivery Truck Accident Attorney
Trucking accidents or accidents involving large commercial delivery trucks can be catastrophic and devastating as was the accident involving the Federal Express truck. These accidents have the potential to be fatal. Even, if you or a loved one are able to survive such an accident, your injuries may be severe and potentially life-changing. If you or a loved one are involved in a trucking accident, it is important to have an experienced Delivery Truck Accident Attorney by your side to help you through the process of obtaining the results you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a serious accident involving a large truck or commercial delivery truck, call me now at (916) 694-0002, or toll-free at (800) 404-5400 for a free and confidential consultation.
We are also members of Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
Image Attribution: Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons