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FedEx Truck Erupted Into Flames After Collision With College Tour Bus

An NTSB report details the crash that left 10 dead, but provides no explanation for why a FedEx truck jumped the highway's median.
Officials and California Highway Patrol Officers look over the remains of a tour bus that was struck by a FedEx truck on Interstate 5 Thursday in Orland, Calif., on April 11. At least ten people were killed and dozens injured in the fiery crash between the truck and a bus carrying high school students on a visit to a Northern California College.Jeff Chiu / AP

The FedEx truck that collided with a college tour bus in Northern California was not on fire before the crash that killed 10 people, investigators said Friday.

The fire that "consumed" the FedEx truck, its two 28-foot trailers and the motor coach, carrying 43 high school students and three chaperones, erupted "post-crash," the National Transportation Safety Board said Friday in a preliminary report.

Witnesses in a car that was side-swiped during the collision previously told NBC Southern California they thought they saw flames engulfing the FedEx truck before it hit the bus.

The NTSB report said the tour bus and FedEx truck were headed in opposite directions on a highway in Orland, Calif., when the FedEx truck jumped the 58-foot wide center median. It then entered into oncoming traffic, hit a Nissan Altima and came to a halt when it hit the bus.

The report doesn't detail what caused the FedEx truck to veer drastically.

The black box of the FedEx truck was incinerated, but NTSB officials have said a lack of skid marks revealed that the driver didn't attempt to hit the brakes.

Both the driver of the FedEx truck and the driver of the tour bus died in the accident on April 10. Five high school students and three chaperones — on their way to tour Humboldt State University — also were killed.

— Elisha Fieldstadt