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Officials investigate possible issues behind California bus crash

California Bus Crash

ORLAND, Calif. (AP) - Federal investigators say they will review whether a stretch of California freeway where a bus carrying students was struck by a big rig should have had a barrier down the median to prevent head-on collisions.

In addition, the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday it will determine if a fire suppression system recommended but not mandated for buses would have made a difference in the crash that left 10 people dead.

Mark Rosekind, an NTSB member, said his agency would be gathering information over the next two weeks but not immediately provide a preliminary cause of the fiery crash along Interstate 5.

The bus was carrying 44 teenagers from Southern California high schools to Humboldt State University to participate in a program that invites prospective low-income or first-generation college students to visit the campus.

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garfygoldstein April 12 2014 at 5:12 AM

does anyone read that there was a car involved

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1 reply
bcsparks4 garfygoldstein April 12 2014 at 5:26 AM

The first report I saw, which I think was online said That there was a car ahead of the semi that could not be avoided or a possible accident, and the semi driver swerved to avoid that which caused the rig to go across the median. How come you hear many reports and many different stories? I suspect like the gossiping neighbor they take 1/2 the story, fill in the blanks and run with it in an attempt to be the first
to report it (you heard it here first). and almost always hear the true/different story later.

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jillrev April 12 2014 at 9:26 AM

Diesel fuel is flammable also,reb44. I'd be curious to know first,how many lanes are there right there? What lane was the truck occupying? Did the left steer tire blow? Another possibility is that the truck driver had a heart attack and lost control. It happened in Indiana years back. The driver died but his rig crossed the oposite lanes and the rig wiped out a weight station.(he was headed south,the weight station was on northbound side.) That was on I-69 north of Indianapolis.

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2 replies
wllharrington jillrev April 12 2014 at 9:39 AM

Diesel fuel is not flammable like gasoline, unlike in the movies, it needs a serious heat souce to ignite it. Diesel fuel from a punctured fuel tank needs an outside heat source.

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1 reply
afohab wllharrington April 12 2014 at 11:05 AM

You are forgetting COMPRESSION to ingnite or explode. That is the principle of diesel engines. If the tank of fuel was impacted and in the right situation of heat and pressure.........it could. Let us pray for the family and the souls for these students.

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badashbwlerswife jillrev April 12 2014 at 2:59 PM

just read a comment that said the drivers of the car that were first sideswiped saw flames coming out from under the hood of the truck before it hit their car

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overexposed1 April 12 2014 at 9:32 AM

My state is putting median cables on the interstates where there are no natural barriers. Already I have seen where 1 wreck was stopped by the cable. But what caught on fire? Bus fuel tanks are in rear of bus aren't they? Did truck fuel tanks rupture and that is where the fire actually started or do they know ? Also there is a new fuel additive that new trucks must use for emission standards. Is it that flammable/

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2 replies
aarobbins99 overexposed1 April 12 2014 at 11:13 AM

Its called DEF and no its not flammible. When the sulfur was taken out of diesel for environmental reasons the octane of the fuel had to be increased to make the diesel engines run right. Now we see a lot more fires after accidents. A friend of mine almost burned to death last summer after a minor accedent ruptured one of his tanks. Both sides of the truck were engulfed in flames he had to kick the windshield out and jump out. Truck and lead trailer burned completely down.

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1 reply
badashbwlerswife aarobbins99 April 12 2014 at 2:58 PM

my husband has said the same thing more than once in the last couple of years....

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Butch overexposed1 April 12 2014 at 11:29 AM

Fed Ex Has been changing to propane

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dave April 12 2014 at 1:45 PM

I can prevent it.... slow down pay attention and EVERYONE drive with respect for other drivers!

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blo2thehead April 12 2014 at 12:22 AM

Enter Captain Hindsight.

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1 reply
Jen blo2thehead April 12 2014 at 12:29 AM

I know right?

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Kay April 12 2014 at 11:10 AM

I read and heard on the news that the semi had side swiped a car before crossing the median and and striking the bus. It was reported that the investigators wanted to talk to the people in the side swiped car, but so far I have not read or heard one comment on what these people saw or what happened to cause the truck to side swipe them! Anyone know anymore about this car and its passengers?

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1 reply
rick52259 Kay April 12 2014 at 11:36 AM

Kay there was an interview with them on this morning. They said they saw flames coming from under hood of truck and driver had lost control of it. This was the couple in the Nissan.

My question is why is 17 NTSB examiners needed ?

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3 replies
jpuf47 April 12 2014 at 12:20 AM

All the arguing about whose fault it was will not bring back those ten people. Look at the speed limit on the sign, 70 mph. It doesn't matter what you are driving, at that speed if you happen to have a blow out someone is going to get killed. They say the drivers of the trucks are on a time limit, time is money. How about the rest of you who are just out joy riding. Why is everyone in such a freeking big hurry? Thank you very much but i'll take my country roads, you can have your express ways, byways, turnpikes etc. My heart and prayers go out to the parents, fiances and family who kissed their loved ones good bye in the morning not knowing they will never see them again on this Earth.

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3 replies
Terry April 12 2014 at 1:12 AM

fmcsa stats for last 24 months; fedex-67 fatalities. 880 injuries. UPS - 39 fatalities. 554 injuries. for the miles they cover these are not bad statistics. unless you are one of the statistics. Better training = better drivers! Trucks AND Cars.

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1 reply
jwtexas1 Terry April 12 2014 at 1:28 AM

Better training = better drivers is only as good as the circumstances surrounding the incident. In crashes involving big rigs, it's most often assumed the big rigs are at fault. Automobile drivers DO NOT, for the most part, understand that a big rig cannot slow down or maneuver like an automobile. I have seen so many drivers cut-off a big rig, complain because they are behind one - only to suddenly change lanes, cut in front of the big rig, causing the big rig driver to slam on brakes, take evasive action, etc. There's not enough respect given to those who drive these 18-wheelers!

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2 replies
scooterg jwtexas1 April 12 2014 at 1:36 AM

Totally agree

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cact25 jwtexas1 April 12 2014 at 3:30 AM

Then they ought to stay over to the right!

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Thunder Queen 1 April 12 2014 at 12:01 AM

What a tragedy, poor kids didn't even get a chance to start living, that road they were on is very dangerous, no median, I've traveled that road many a times and it is scary to say the least

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1 reply
Jen Thunder Queen 1 April 12 2014 at 12:32 AM

You are right. That stretch is horrid.

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1 reply
Go For It! Jen April 12 2014 at 1:56 AM

That part of I-5 is also very flat and boring...very easy to get tired.

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wanda April 12 2014 at 11:34 AM

Prayers....what a tragic loss to everyone... :(

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1 reply
palmejn wanda April 12 2014 at 2:04 PM

Yes Wanda - and to the kids who broke out windows and helped save others, an act that was totally unselfish and put themselves at risk - the ultimate act of heros.

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