A charter bus and a FedEx semi-truck collided on Interstate 5 north of Highway 32 near Orland Thursday afternoon leaving both drivers and seven high school students dead with another 32 injured. The two vehicles also caught fire leaving charred hulks on the side of the road.
The California Highway Patrol says the driver of the semi-truck was heading south when the vehicle crossed the center divider, crashing head on into the bus. There were 46 passengers, all students from the Southern California area heading to Humboldt State University in Arcata for the schools April 12th Spring Preview Day.
Investigators say the truck driver may have been trying to avoid a Nissan Altima that was also involved in the crash. The bus belonged to Silverado Stages, a tour bus company based out of San Luis Obispo.
Parents and family members of students who were on the bus may contact university police for more information at 707-826-5555. They can also visit the American Red Cross website to search for loved ones.
UPDATE 04/11/2014: CHP says ten people died including the two drivers, five students and three chaperones.