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Drivers in California crash had clean records

ORLAND, Calif. (AP) - Both drivers in the fiery Northern California crash involving a FedEx truck and bus full of students had clean driving records.

According to The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/1gxYKgA ), California's Department of Motor Vehicles says neither driver had a moving violation, though the bus driver's license was briefly suspended a decade ago.

FedEx driver Tim Evans and the driver of the chartered bus, Talalelei Lealao-Taiao (tah-lah-LAY'-lay LAY'-low-TY'-ow), were killed along with eight passengers Thursday when the truck veered across the median of Interstate 5 and smashed into the bus.

The Glenn County coroner has not released official identifications, but Lealao-Taiao's employer confirmed her name, and the Bee spoke with a member of Evans' extended family.

Federal and state investigators expect to take months to determine what caused the accident.

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logst2 April 15 2014 at 3:41 PM

You ran over something in the road...an trucker's dead tire or box or ???will not make you go off the road unless you ARE NOT PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PRIMARY JOB. ..which is driving. Every driver in World needs an Defensive Drivers training course..especially Carriers.

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stepdecktrucker April 15 2014 at 4:40 AM

Being a retired Coast to Coast Truck Driver as well as a former Tour Bus driver many years ago I can say I am deeply saddened these people whom many think Ill of when something like this happens. They were driving Machines in which honestly can take a turn towards the worse at any second. Believe me, I have experienced such events in my Carrier as a Professional Driver. 99% of most Pro-driver's take their jobs very seriously. I have driven Interstate 5 many Thousands of miles back and forth and I can tell you, It can become one of the worse roads ever traveled because You travel so many miles with no change much in the view. It becomes very mesmerizing and can hypnotize you. Especially when driving a truck at the same tiring speed all the time. I drove starting way back in the late 1950's when we still had curves and hills and streams along the roads. We traveled actually much faster back in those days that Trucker's are allowed to today.
I think they should check to see what this driver's sleep habits had been as well as was he on any Blood Medications. Believe me, You can be feeling great at one minute and with just a bit of fatigue, your whole being can change. It sounds as if he was unconscious when he went barreling through the Medium. He could of been over come with Carbon Monoxide, I know years ago had i not woke up I would have been in a terrible accident, and it was because of fumes coming into the cab around the gear shift. There is no way now they can check that, But I know, many trucks do have a lot of cab leaks where fumes can come in.
Spilled oil or leaking exhaust and many things can cause this.
I remember a Roadway driver dying in his truck because he parked on the side of the road to rest and little did he know he was being over come with gases.

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1 reply
Greg stepdecktrucker April 15 2014 at 10:48 AM

It's called a "median" - Mr. Pro Trucker. Didn't learn that in 30 years of trucking?

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hillbillylooken April 15 2014 at 4:56 AM

You do not sound like you know much about Truck Driving. I have been a contract Trucker owning my own Companies in several states. And believe me, You do not drive for any of the Big Freight Companies today unless you can pass very heavy restrictions. Plus every Truck leaving their yards, Privately owned by an Owner Operator or the Company has to pass very rigid Federal Department of Transportation Guide lines and requirements. Now if you are pulling for some of those Meat Hauler's out of the Mid-west, They push drivers way beyond the rules or fire them if they refuse to drive, But the Big Freight and Parcel Hauler's are very strict. I was in the Trucking business from 1957-2005, and retired completely in 2010 when I gave my C. D. L. up. I have been a Safety man as well as a Hazmat man and you do not play around when it comes to safety. You are subject to Inspection at all times when in that rig. Your license is your livelihood and you do not play with it if you are a professional Driver.
Many of the Larger Companies even require you to sign a Bond of Trust. Which Insures your Professionalism.

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1 reply
Marie McClusky hillbillylooken April 15 2014 at 7:15 AM

Even with the best medical and health screening does not stop a person from having a medical issue while at the wheel - one person said the truck was on fire before the crash, I wonder if what she was seeing was dust as he crossed the median - so many questions that possibly will never be answered

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wesdog123 April 15 2014 at 9:29 AM

I suspect a blown left steer tire on the FedEx truck... I have experienced this numerous times with the company that I used to work for. If you blow a steer tire, you lose control and cannot guide the vehicle in a straight path. It happens suddenly without warning. I have seen drivers suffer a broken wrist when the steering wheel jerks violently one way or the other. There are many reasons for a blown tire... poor inspections, poor maintenance, faulty tire, and stiking an object in the roadway.

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1 reply
Judy wesdog123 April 15 2014 at 11:00 AM

Most likely due to poor inspections and poor maintenance. My brother use to drive big rigs for decades and complined about that all the time. More over, drivers that pull into the path of these trucks have no idea what kind of potetial danger they have gotten themselves into. First by pulling in front of improperly maintained trucks, and second thinking these massive trucks can stop on a dime. It doesn't happen people and guess who is not going to be the favored outcome? The car driver. Too many idiots drive like they are the only ones on the road, pulling across lanes of traffic just to get to an exit ramp. That extra 2 seconds you save may be the last of your life.

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1 reply
MICHAEL Judy April 15 2014 at 12:12 PM

Judy, It isn't mainly about saving time. It is that the signage is inadequate. When one needs to exit, one must know into which lane one should be be well ahead of the exit but signage rarely will show that and it is almost non existant within a city. So one ends up spending an hour or mor trying to get back to the correct exit. One easy solution, which many will not do, is to paint the Hwy # onto the pavement so oneknow which lane they must be in to make an exit or which way to go at a Y.

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vogiebaby April 15 2014 at 8:15 AM

I am wondering if Fed Ex had cruise control set. With no signs of braking, it would still be engaged

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1 reply
theshippingshack vogiebaby April 15 2014 at 8:28 AM

Fed Ex trucks do not have cruise control. It is evident from witnesses that the truck had caught fire prior to the driver loosing control. I am sure that this caused the Fed Ex driver to loose control of his vehicle. Fed Ex has very strict requirements for their drivers. This is in addition to the Federal DOT requirements in place. I know this for a fact for I personally was a Fed Ex driver for 19 years.

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5 replies
sandrzejew April 15 2014 at 9:36 AM

WHY start a article with this statement Records of drivers in fatal calif wreck surface ???? it implies they had bad driving records and when you click the article it says all clean It leaves a bad taste in my mouth when this happens

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7 replies
rtaritas April 15 2014 at 10:41 AM

At least the bus driver tried to avert the accident by braking and trying to move out of the way of the truck.

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medworkcomp April 15 2014 at 2:46 PM

Sympathies to the victims families and friends

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sugar_daisy April 15 2014 at 11:45 AM

So tragic. Yes, I agree Steve, could have been that a tire blew out. Or he fell asleep or had a heart attack. Or we will never know for sure.

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6 replies
sherrmorr April 15 2014 at 3:11 PM

A relative works for Fed Ex. Fed Ex is almost to the point of rediculous when it comes to driver's health and regular physicals. Not to mention the random drug testing. The trucks have governors installed so they can't speed. There is a computer in the truck which monitors EVERYTHING from speed, stops, gears. Can't speak for the other companies, but FedEx management is about as careful as they can be.
My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones. That is a devastating loss.

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