Investigators reveal timeline of deadly FedEx truck crash

| April 29, 2014

Federal officials have released more timeline information on the California crash between a FedEx truck and a bus of high school students that left 10 dead.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the April 10 accident that occurred about 5:40 p.m. on Interstate 5 in Orland. The 2007 Volvo truck pulling two 28-foot trailers in the southbound right lane as a 2014 motorcoach operated by Silverado Stages Inc. was traveling northbound in the right lane. 


Feds investigating bus, truck crash that left 10 dead, dozens injured

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a collision in California between a FedEx truck and a charter bus of high school students that left ...

The truck left the southbound lanes, drove though a line of bushes in the 58-foot wide center median before entering the northbound lanes. It collided with the rear of a car that had just passed the bus and then crashed into the bus.

The truck and bus left the highway and a post-crash fire consumed the truck and partially burned the bus. The accident killed both drivers and eight bus passengers, while the occupants of the car received minor injuries.  

The truck originally left FedEx’s Sacramento facility at 10:00 a.m. and delivered two trailers in Weeds. At about 3:30 p.m., the driver picked up two other 28-foot trailers and was returning to Sacramento when the accident occurred. 

The bus had been chartered to take Southern California students for a tour of Humboldt University’s Arcata campus. A replacement driver took the wheel when the bus made a scheduled stop in Sacramento.

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  • g

    2007 Volvo tractor? Purdy OLD for a company as rich as Fedex…cheap jerks to begin with….probable Low Paid clown at the wheel.

  • ThatGuy

    56cpm & $23 an hour..

  • James L Georgeson

    Your probably the clown

  • Steve A Grimsley

    All trucks at FedEx Ground are owned by the drivers and contractors.

  • Francisco Alvarez

    You are an idiot!
    Do not insult drivers I am one, if it was not for us who move america all people wouldn’t have anything to eat wear build or drive within a few miles of their house.

  • Leonard l Blair

    Sounds like you guys don’t know a dam thing about trucking. You sound learn about truck before you shouting your mouth off.

  • B n T Pagel

    If the truck was in good condition and a local truck the mileage on it most likely wasn’t that bad. Not to mention trucks are built to go millions of miles compared to a car. Regarding FedEx, they aren’t saying if this was an O/O (owner/operator) or a company truck. It could have been either one. Many O/O’s purchase used trucks. And they still haven’t stated what actually CAUSED the truck to leave the southbound lanes so this report is technically useless!

  • William McKelvie


  • Sonny Samra

    This was a FedEx Freight truck, not Ground so it was a company driver

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  • Loren H

    The question I have was this a fire caused buy a man made issue, a fault of the mechanics of the Truck, or was this another fire that was cause by a Diesel Particulate Filter, that has been mandated by CARB????

  • Stormy

    My question as soon as I saw the pictures.. what kind of fuel was being used in both vehicles.

  • Linda Ellis Daniel

    Millions of miles? Uh….. with today’s emissions. … just try outliving a 500000 mile warranty. …not going to happen without major issues. … thanks EPA… but even in older trucks “millions” might be a slight overstatement. …

  • Nathan

    There are a lot of trucks on the road with over a million miles. Not just old ones either some are 2010. It’s not uncommon to see.

  • Linda Ellis Daniel

    We have a 2012 – too early to see if we’ll have a million miles or not, although we do have 628,000 right now! I realize it isn’t uncommon, as we had a 2007 with over a million miles, but that engine had been rebuilt. My point was that there aren’t many with multi-millions of miles, and it’s unlikely the newer ones will even achieve a million without costly repairs, thanks to the emissions. This is a little off track of the original posting, unfortunately….the accident was horrendous whatever was the cause.

  • scott

    My 98 classic has 2000000+ miles. I make 2 to 3 trips from California to the east coast a month

  • geo

    what we should be asking is why the the driver cross the road, I am sure it was not to get to the oterside. Did he have a control problem or medical emergency before crossing ?

  • seamallowance

    You’re sadly mistaken. This truck was the standard company-owned doubles that we I-5 drivers see every day.

  • Graber Yoder

    It says owned by Silverado Stages, I think that would mean a contractor owned it. Must be very smart as a 2007 might not have had a DPF, he was making money instead of hanging by a thread thanks to CARB. Old trucks are not necsarily unsafe, everything needs thorough inspections and maintenance, even new trucks have problems. Back on track I wouldn’t think a driver on a run that started at 10 am would be fatigued at 5 pm. Was it health or mechanical reasons the truck crossed the median? Due to the fire and deaths we may never know. Hope that all involved can find peace, not lay blame, forgive, and move a head with their life. God has a plan, we can not always figure it out or understand. Just accept it for what it is be strong and live life to our full potential.

  • James

    I’m betting the fed-Ex driver had a stroke. What I’ve seen so far is that many times even a heart attack victim can at least stop the vehicle before being completely incapacitated,but strokes seem to be more sudden and incapacitate almost instantly. there are,of course,always exceptions. And there’s NO reason to insult the driver. THAT’S just plain wrong.

  • Dan

    Silverado Stages was the bus company.

  • Rocky d

    I remember in th early to mid 2000 era Volvo trucks with certain engines had a problem with the egr plumbing breaking on the firewall and catching the truck on fire

  • Bear

    Stormy the veicles are Diesel powered thus answering your question is disel fuel. How ever if you think how that fire happend the impact may have been so harsh causing fuel lines to rupture.

  • Bear

    Hey B n T I would say based off the local run he was a company driver. But he could have been doing a favor.

  • jeff b

    I see alot if fedex truck and other truckers going way to fast all the time.We all need to slow down and demand better pay from our employers.Just because you get paid frim point a to point b and get a bonus to get it there sooner shouldn’t be a way we get paid.things in the trucking industry needs to change and if we dont try to change it from within the government will keep making laws to make it harder for us to make a living

  • Benn

    OKay so there is NO new information here; all there was is same information rehashed into a want-to-be news story is all.

  • Mark Garland

    looks like a passengers side fuel tank was in the line of impact on the FedEx, the exhaust is right there, probably wiring, batteries were damaged too.

  • Al

    FedEx drivers are paid hourly, with no bonuses for making trips faster.

  • jack

    Its 2007 doesnt have that. Combistion fire

  • jack

    Shutttt upppp

  • karin

    Im thinking this was a clear case of road rage say 15 mins up the hwy. Fed ex guy maybe didnt let someone on the freeway which pissed off this unknown person , he pulls a gun , and fires as he passes the Fed ex driver, killing him and the truck crosses the medium into the bus. Its the only thing that makes sense. He never hit his breaks cuz he was dead. And the shooter drives away on down the hwy.

  • Cody

    Fedex just cant seem to stop smashing into people. My grandmother was ran over by a fedex truck. She didn’t make it.

  • Jerry

    Hahaha none of you know what you’re talking about when it comes to their pay. FedEx pays their company drivers well. They don’t get bonuses for on-time. Especially not line drivers like this guy was. Weed, Ca. is, what is known in the ltl freight industry as a meet point. Meaning that this driver met up with a driver from Oregon and swapped trailers. Its about the halfway point between Sac and Eugene Or. Also, fatigued from 10am to 5pm? 7 hrs? Really? The feds allow us 11 hrs of driving and 14 hrs of total on duty. Unless you do this job you can’t begin to speculate. That 2007 Volvo was too old to have a regen system or DEF. He was also hauling 1 half loaded trailer and 1 empty trailer. And as far as the speed??? FedEx Freight trucks are governed at 65 mph. 10 mph over the Ca speed limit for trucks. That’s not speaking for the other FedEx divisions. So please do a little research before ya’ll comment your ignorance.

  • Scott Allen

    I drove that section of I-5 on the day of the crash and was surprised at how fast the tour buses were going. In Ca vehicles with 3 or more axles have a 55 mph limit, which the truckers usually push to just over 60, but the tour buses I saw were all going 70 plus and were often in the left lane.
    It’s been reported this bus left 145 of skid marks before impact which makes me wonder how fast it was going and also in there was an ABS system in place.

  • Gary Lake

    That particular run was mileage pay.

  • Gary Lake

    FedEx freight does not use owner operators. Tim was a company driver paid by the mile.

  • Gary Lake

    You don’t know what you are talking about g. Now get off of your mom’s computer and take out the garbage like you were told .

  • Gary Lake

    You are spot on Jerry. Maybe a little inside knowledge?

  • Scott

    Maybe he was distracted,and had nothing to do with equipment .

  • inthewoods98

    if the truck is an 2007 it does not have a def or a parti

  • notme

    FedEx has a corporate speed limit of 65mph. I know, I work there. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.