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College Tour Tragedy

California Bus Crash: Scene Was ‘Horrible,’ Witness Says

The crash site where a FedEx tractor-trailer smashed into a tour bus carrying high school students was "horrible," according to one of the first people to arrive at the scene of the deadly incident.

Marc Smutny told the Los Angeles Times that he was nearby when he heard "probably three explosions" and ran to the scene.

“It was insane,” he said. “The bus was engulfed in flames, smoke in and out of the front. The bus looked like it took most of the hit. It was horrible.”

California Tour Bus Crash Kills Nine 0:27

Flames roared through both the tour bus and FedEx vehicle after they slammed into each other, leaving hunks of twisted metal and broken glass, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson said Friday.

"The big rig and the bus were both engulfed in flames,” Tracy Hoover told Reuters. “You are talking about two vehicles that are destroyed. There is hardly anything left of the truck."

Dramatic images taken at the scene showed the bus reduced to a burned-out chassis resting sideways across the highway.

Reuters contributed to this report.

- Henry Austin