Sacramento, CA- The mother of one of the students killed in a fiery California collision filed a civil lawsuit against Fed-Ex alleging their vehicles have a history of catching on fire. This is the first lawsuit filed since the April 10 collision in Orland.
The collision between the Fed-Ex truck and a charter bus carrying high school students to Humboldt University took the lives of 10 people including the truck driver and six high school students. Close to thirty students suffered minor to more serious injuries.
Authorities said the driver of the Fed-Ex truck lost control for some unknown reason lost control of his vehicle and crossed the center median of Interstate 5 into the path of oncoming traffic. Evidence collected at the scene of the accident showed that the bus driver, who was also killed, attempted to avoid the collision and slammed on the brakes. The truck driver however made no attempt to brake.
The lawsuit filed Rosa Rivera on behalf of her daughter Jennifer Bonilla is seeking $100 million in damages an names Fed -Ex, the deceased driver’s estate and Silverado Stages, the company that manufactured the charter bus, the New York Post reported.
The negligence lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court Tuesday, alleges that Fed-Ex trucks have a history of catching on fire due to mechanical problems, driver error or improper loading of cargo.
Investigators from the NTSB are still trying to determine why driver Tim Evans lost control of his truck and crossed over a grassy median into the path of the charter bus. Some witnesses said the truck was on fire prior to the collision, but the NTSB said they could find no evidence to corroborate those claims.
The NTSB said it could take months before they can determine exactly what caused the tragic accident.
Immediately after impact both the bus and the truck caught on fire with dozens of students inside. Crash victims had to bust out windows to get out of the burning wreckage. But the deceased were unable to escape and burned along with the wreckage.
The lawsuit alleges the bus did not have adequate exit doors to allow passengers to escape after the collision.
In response to the lawsuit Fed-Ex released a statement which reads: “Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone affected by this tragic accident. We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss potential litigation.”
This is the first lawsuit to come out of the tragedy but it probably won’t be the last.
It’s normal for families who have lost a loved one in a devastating truck accident to seek compensation from the parties they believe are responsible for truck accident. When they retain a truck accident attorney, they know that someone understands their suffering and will vigorously advocate for their rights to ensure they receive compensation for their medical care and emotional duress.