CHP report on truck-bus crash does not explain cause

Updated May 25, 2015

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Friday (May 22) said the 2014 collision between a FedEx truck and a tour bus that killed 10 people was the result of an unsafe turn by the trucker, but said there was no conclusive evidence as to what caused that turn.

The CHP said an undetermined medical condition, sleepiness, or driver fatigue may have contributed to the accident, but there was no conclusive evidence.

“Our investigators carefully analyzed every aspect of this collision and concluded that environmental factors, roadway conditions and vehicle maintenance were not the cause,” said CHP Northern Division Chief Ruben Leal. “The collision was caused — for unknown reasons — by the driver’s unsafe turning movement, and although fatigue or an undetermined medical condition may have contributed, there is no conclusive evidence.”

The collision occurred April 10, 2014, at about 5:40 p.m., on Interstate 5 in Glenn County, Calif. As the FedEx truck drove south on Interstate 5 it travel through the median, and crossed into northbound traffic without applying the brakes, or making any type of evasive steering. It struck a car and then collided with the bus carrying students on a visit to Humbolt College.

The CHP Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) investigators did not find that environmental or mechanical factors caused or contributed to this collision.

The CHP said some evidence of possible fatigue or sleepiness included:

  • the long straight section of roadway,
  • the departure angle of the tires consistent with fatigue-related collisions,
  • that the driver was alone and did not attempt to avoid a collision,
  • an eyewitness report the driver was slumped toward the driver’s window as he approached oncoming traffic.