A trip that began with a sense of hope and inspiration for low-income students that may actually be able to attend college ended in disaster when a crash left 10 people including students, chaperones and drivers fatally injured. There were three tour buses full of students and chaperones traveling from Los Angeles to a college campus approximately 650 miles north.
The fatal accident occurred when a FedEx truck crossed the median and struck one of the tour buses head-on. One passenger car was sideswiped by the FedEx truck in the accident, and the couple traveling in that car told authorities that they noticed flames coming out from underneath the FedEx truck before it struck the bus.
After the initial collision, the tour bus became engulfed in flames. Students that were aboard the bus were kicking out the windows in an effort to escape the fire. Unfortunately nine people died at the scene of the accident and another person succumbed to their injuries after arriving at a nearby hospital for treatment. Thirty-one additional victims suffered injuries in the crash -- some critically -- and were sent to area hospitals.
The fire was so severe that some of those that have been fatally injured have yet to be identified. Medical professionals are analyzing dental records and expect that to take a bit of time before families can be notified.
This accident remains under investigation and authorities expect that investigation to take months. In general, if it is determined that someone's negligence led to the occurrence of a car crash, those that were injured and the families of those that died may have a cause of action to recover damages.
Families that lose loved ones in tragedies such as this may be able to seek compensation through a wrongful death lawsuit. This will help them not only to pursue recovery for the medical and death expenses they incurred but, depending upon the nature of the family dynamic and the deceased individual's income, they may also be able to seek recovery for lost wages as well.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, "CHP: 5 Students Among 10 Dead In Orlando Bus Crash," April 11, 2014