A FedEx truck collided with a charter bus carrying students in California Thursday, killing 10 people and injuring dozens of others, authorities say.
The accident happened on Interstate 5 near Orland, Glenn County, in the northern part of the state. The FedEx truck crossed into oncoming traffic, striking a northbound car before colliding with the bus, California Highway Patrol officials told ABC News.
Flames engulfed the bus and truck, sending thick plumes of black smoke upward, the vehicles reduced to charred husks.
The drivers of the bus and truck were killed, along with eight other people inside the bus, police said.
The bus was carrying prospective students to a spring preview day at Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif. The university released a statement about the accident, writing, "Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible."
Some of the students in the crash attend Los Angeles Unified School District, school officials said.
Student Jonathan Gutierrez was on the bus, tweeting during the trip.
With the bus on the freeway, Gutierrez closed his eyes, trying to sleep, when he heard people yelling. He hit his head. Smoke filled the bus.
He grabbed his phone and ran. He didn't even have time to slip on his shoes.
"It was hard to breathe in there, that is when I started panicking," Gutierrez said. "The smoke was everywhere like you could not see where you were going."
With the fire in the front of the bus and spreading, the quickest escape for Gutierrez was through a window.
"The window to the floor down, that is like a long jump and people were just panicking, so they were like throwing themselves out the window and I guess when I jumped out the window I fell on my leg and now I can hardly walk ... but I am alive and that is what counts," he said.
Later, Gutierrez was tweeting from his hospital room with stitches above his eye and a sore leg, thankful that he survived the crash.
California Gov. Edmund Brown Jr. expressed sympathy in a statement.
"As we mourn the loss of those who died, we join all Californians in expressing our gratitude for the tireless work of the Red Cross and emergency personnel who responded bravely to this terrible tragedy," Brown said.
The highway remains closed. National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive at the scene today.
- Disasters & Accidents
- California Highway Patrol