Third lawsuit filed in FedEx truck crash that killed 10

| May 23, 2014

A third lawsuit has been filed in the California collision between a FedEx truck and bus of high school students that left 10 dead.

Ismael Jimenez’s family filed a wrongful death suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court over the April 10 accident on Interstate 5. The 2007 Volvo truck was pulling two 28-foot trailers in Orland when it crossed the median and collided with the 2014 motor coach. 

Related

Investigators reveal timeline of deadly FedEx truck crash

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 18-year-old helped fellow passengers escape the post-crash fire, but ultimately did not escape the fire and died at the scene. Defendants named in the May 19 suit for unspecified damages include FedEx,Volvo and Silverado Stages, the charter bus company. 

Earlier this month, two related lawsuits were filed against FedEx and the bus company in the same court.

Rosa Rivera’s wrongful death suit seeks $100 million in damages on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter Jennifer Bonilla. The complaint alleges the delivery giant’s trucks have a history of fire problems and that the motor coach had inadequate exit doors.

Miles Hill, 18, also is suing after he escaped the fire by kicking out a bus window, but incurred injuries that included burns and a broken collarbone. Hill’s attorney Chistine Spagnoli said the charter company had not ensured emergency evacuation procedures were in place nor conveyed these procedures to passengers. 

Spagnoli, who petitioned to have the crash lawsuits consolidated, noted negligence is a component of her case. “Something happened with the driver that caused that loss of control and crossing over the median,” she said. 

The National Transportation Safety Board’s preliminary report states 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 Southern California students were traveling to Acata for a tour of Humboldt University’s campus.

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  • USMC 69-75

    $100 million, one case, sounds like a milking contest to me…..Really
    sorry for all the wrongful deaths, but this is nothing more than leech
    attorneys reaching into the deepest pockets for a quick buck. Wait till
    all the questions have been answered before anybody gets sued for
    anything. But then still 100 million? Somebody looking for the lottery
    over the death of a family member. That is disgraceful to the persons
    memory. Look at what M.A.T.T. has been doing to our industry, because of
    one person, having an ACCIDENT, who doesn’t keep driving at one time or
    another, if the sandman crawls up on your shoulder and tickles your
    eyes…….you drive till you find a safe place to pull over, 4 wheeler,
    RV, truck makes no difference!

  • guest

    They had another wreck on I-10 at Blythe on May 22. Flatbedder thru a load of pipes into the path of a BUS….4 Killed. Mexican driver’owner op…from Rialto….with “troubling” DMV and CSA record…….Lawsuits will be coming to his Insurance Company….he is basically poverty stricken and operating on shoe string budget, running Bald Tires etc…Thanks Anne Ferro…doing a Fine Job keeping us all SAFE. We feel all warm and fuzzy thanks to YOU and your commie HENCHMEN.

  • guest

    Fed Ex is doing a fine job….usually they are being investigated for Hauling Narcotics….they have been busted many times for DOPE Transporting…they usually have questionable owner ops that hire slave for a team partner….questionable credentials of these “laborers”……all over the country they race down the road on tight schedules…true SWEATSHOP ON WHEELS……pathetic operation. Should be SHUT DOWN before More are Slaughtered by these MANIACS.

  • USMC 69-75

    And you know this how?

  • USMC 69-75

    Again….you know this how….first off a flat-bedder can’t THROW anything off his truck, where do you come up with this stuff?

  • guest

    News Report there HERO….may 22 truck accident Blythe calif…..google it if you can figure it out…..jerk.

  • guest

    Common knowledge to truck drivers…fedex is the mode of choice for dope shipments. 16,000 packages ahve been seized from 1980-1995…Executives have been investigated as well..being in on the shipments…Couriers have been Murdered for NOT delivering the expensive Cocaine. Homeland Security is stationed permanently in Memphis Hub….get a clue huh??

  • guest

    I have a Crystal Ball….called a laptop….trucking news???? Give it a try sometime….daily nationwide news for truckwrecks and anything pertaining to trucking is avail…….try it sometime Caveman.

  • USMC 69-75

    I have better things to do with my time (like run my own trucking company) than play on line looking for truck accidents and then point fingers at innocent till proven guilty people….. Caveman! I’m no hero, but thanks for the recognition anyway, the real HERO’S never came home!
    But back to your ingenues quiess as a wannabe reporter, between 75 and 87 % (depending on who your talking to) the car is usually the one at fault, but the truck has deeper pockets!

    So if you can’t come up with anything of interest or importance pertaining to the article, I’m done with the likes of you!

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  • Cheyenne Mothertrucker Alexand

    Perhaps you shud question the fmcsa and there rules and hrs of svc. Im forced to drive 700 mi a day now vs 600mi becuz theyre making me shut down fir almost twi days on a crock 34hr restarr. I USED to be able to take a break in between

  • Cheyenne Mothertrucker Alexand

    Agree guest. Fmcsa has made the roads more dangerous in their attempt to collect revenue

  • Cheyenne Mothertrucker Alexand

    If theyre not properlt strapped yes tgey can and in oyr attenpt to not violate the new hours of svc sadly drivers are taking the short cut to make up for the 34hrs thryre forced to shur down which usually ends up being closer to 48. I personally drive 0001-1400 but now im forced to sit 5hrs before i can leave so ill be up 17hrs

  • Cheyenne Mothertrucker Alexand

    So you think theres a PRICE for a life? If ut was your kid shud there be a $100K cap?

  • Glen

    Cheyenne, nobody is forcing you to do anything. You make the decisions that affect your life and those around you. The first step to resolving your issue is to accept personal responsibility and stop blaming others for your woes.

  • Jillie

    But it sure does seem like you have enough time on your hands to post on here and reply to most comments. Shouldn’t you be concentrating on the operation of your “trucking company” rather than be on here arguing with everyone? Just sayin’.

  • Glen

    Once again, Cheyenne, take responsibility for your actions and stop blaming everyone else. It takes less than five minutes to throw another strap and make sure the load is secured properly.

    If you are taking shortcuts, you need to reevaluate your situation and not put others at risk because you’re in a hurry.

    Btw, slow down in the truck stops, it ain’t a friggin race track.

  • Glen

    Wrong again Cheyenne, fmcsa has done nothing to make the roads less safe.
    I have yet to see or hear of A. Ferro sitting in anybody’s truck with a gun to their head forcing them to speed thru truck stops, construction zones, tailgate, drive tired, etc…
    Learn the regs, live within the regs, make safety a priority in your life and career.

    Please if I’m wrong in any of my assertions, show me the light and post facts and sources.

    Take responsibility for the choices you make, and stop the blame game.

  • Glen

    Lawsuits are no surprise, especially when there is loss of life. I’m positive there will be more to come.

    The larger the company the more visibility they have. This means that the accidents are reported more often and public perception of the company is not always accurate. Before spouting off about their safety, take the time and look up their numbers, you might be surprised.

    Their gate times are achievable without the speeding, and wreckless chances a few of their operators choose to practice. That I a result of poor planning on the operators part.

    No I’m not with FED WRECKS.

  • Jason

    Everyone has good points. But 100 mil. for a situation their not completely sure on just yet is a little ridiculous. What most fail to do, is look at the overall picture. Most every major trucking company treats their drivers like personal slaves. Your average driver can’t do much about it. Then can stay in the perimeters, and run legally, but most companies will just starve the driver out financially. Leaving the driver to either do as their told, pack it in or be let go. Either case it gets put on a report and makes it hard for the driver to get legitimate employment as a driver. On the other hand, you do have the government making rules as they go that benefit no one except themselves. However you also have drivers out there, like a big majority of FedEx drivers, that do what they want. Couldn’t even begin to count how many times a FedEx driver went flying by at 80-90 in a 55. Or in inclement weather, when everyone else is is doing 35 their zipping by at 60. Or drivers that just do extremely stupid things. Just a few days ago in Pa a driver literally parked on train tracks to go in a restaurant to get directions. And long and behold a train comes. Point is, their gonna make ridiculous rules, cause some drivers do ridiculous things. Companies are going to treat drivers like slaves, cause no one stands up for drivers and unless they want a career change, they can’t even stand up for themselves. So when situations like this arise. The bottom line is someone is going to pay. Unfortunately its with money rather then looking into these companies with a fine comb. Just my thoughts.

  • USMC 69-75

    I’m not questioning anybody, I run under my own authority, and have for over 20 years…… You want to pull for a company or drive for a company that makes you run with all that tatletell electronics fine….your problem not mine. That has nothing to do with what I stated about the article. What is so hard about 700 miles a day? Use to do it all the time and be safe about it? NO! Nothing super trucker about it, just running legal and normal, just keeping that left door closed and right foot on the floor!

  • USMC 69-75

    Apparently you are new to trucking and writing?
    I’m sorry for your short comings, but we are suppose to learn from our mistakes, and yes I’m a flat bedder and never “Threw” a load off my trailer, any of my drivers take shortcuts and cost us a load, endangers the public and their own life’s are TERMINATED, end of story!

  • USMC 69-75

    I do take care of my business first and utmost….don’t know what your referring to, but because I respond to a few people that want to try and blame a trucker for something that is still under investigation…..just saying.

  • USMC 69-75

    NO! But 100 million is a far stretch, I don’t care who you are, and to hang a trucking company out to dry, before the investigation is over? What would you call that….entitlement?

  • Newsblaster

    The real question here is how long was the driver ON DUTY. While he may have left the terminal at 10:00am, he may have been in the Fed Ex yard a couple of hours before that waiting for his load, or helping to load it (some companies require this). Also, how many hours had the driver been working that week? Some trucking companies are now equipping their truck cabs with cameras that record accidents and what the driver was doing at that specific time. Right now only this driver knows for sure what he did. There has been an exodus of drivers from the trucking industry in recent years due to low pay and poor working conditions. The good drivers are harder and harder to find.

  • Earnest D Marcum

    Finding out WHO is at fault take’s priority to anyone lining their pockets! According to one witness, the FedEx Truck was already on fire when it crossed the median. Maybe an S Cam rollover, Maybe an elecrical issue as a result of improper installation of on-board electronics. It is unfortunate that FedEx was the on the side of the truck when it occurred but it could possibly be the fault of Volvo Mfg for something improperly installed. Maybe an on-the-road repair was made improperly at one of many facilities on the route. The Federal Transportation Safety Administration will be reviewing all the facts regarding this. I recall when tire mfg companies had a labor dispute and when they could not reach an agreement the union wanted, mysteriously the side wall’s of tire’s started blowing out on trucks, buses, SUV’s and many people died and were injured as a result. Those tire mfg companies were forced to down size and close mfg facilities just to stay in business and the union employee’s had to take a cut in pay, just to keep a job. A lot of thing’s have to be considered before a final ruling!

  • JasonKane

    Your proof is based on 1000 packages/year (avg) being seized? Out if the billions per year they transport? That’s not even a full percentage point. Furthermore, based on your reasoning, I can mail a shipment of narcotics but it’s not .You fault, it’s the carrier.

  • Amy Kufahl

    Fed Ex doesn’t hire drivers, they’re all contracted, so also not their trucks. I run fed ex ground, governed at 62mph. We get there in plenty of time and I take home plenty of pay. No need to rush.

  • wing

    how does one determine what a good truck driver is these days? it’s now relative (and probably always has been) to a company’s needs, whether owner-op or not. The game changes with who is in power, albeit very slowly, up until the advent of electronics and telematics to watch, record the driver’s every move.
    We have the likes of Anne Ferro, MATT, PATT, PUBLIC CITIZEN, the equivalent or worse than the Sierra Club.
    Socialization of our society through online video gaming, faceplant,twitterpated ,pinterest,etc, whereby the new players don’t mind their lives being public,
    drives the new trucking industry.
    Now we have instant replay from the dashboard, lidar,vorad,nhtsa,tsa,homeland,fmcsa,DOT,CVSA, CARB, the Whitehouse Office of Budget and management, GSA,ATA,TCA, an on and on. And many have never driven a truck, and are employed in these ‘Agencies’.

    Does any driver really have time to do the ‘real’ job of driving the truck safely, with out all these distractions and foolish regulations?
    Does the New ERA trucking arena require a real driver?
    The trend says NO!
    The trend says computer operator,technician, appliance operator. Just do what the machine tells you to do…new school.

    You owner-ops,company drivers, what makes a ‘good driver’ these days?

    Welcome to the Wheel Turners Club of America.

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  • Steve A Grimsley

    Jason, FedEx Freight trucks only go 68-72 mph. They are owned by the company. Your statement is BULL SHIT.

  • Bruce

    Steve you must not be a Driver out here today. Fed Ex Drivers are the worst out here and you are wrong they are not all company owned.

  • Brian Pruitt

    all i know is i see a lot of natural gas powered fed ex trucks out west when thay burn thay go up quick like this one did are these trucks as safe as diesel powered i have seen the new models with the big rack of gas bottles behind the cab i dont think i want to sit in one of those cabs