Orland FedEx Truck Crash Investigation Update

In the aftermath of the tragic crash in Orland involving a tour bus and a FedEx double trailer truck, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) sent a team of officials to investigate. Here is what we know so far:

FedEx Truck Driver
  • Tim Evans, 32 (deceased).
  • His family told the media that Evans had been driving professionally for several years.
  • Multiple sources have reported that Evans had a clean driving record.
  • NTSB officials are examining Evans' last 72 hours prior to the crash to determine if he had enough rest.
  •  Evans hauled a load from the Sacramento area to Weed on Thursday morning. He was returning home to Elk Grove when the crash occurred. The total mileage for the trip (Sacramento - Weed - Elk Grove) is roughly 458 miles, or seven hours behind the wheel.

FedEx Double Trailer Truck
  • Evans was hauling a double trailer, which can be dangerous, even under ideal circumstances
  • According to NTSB, the trailer closest to the truck was partially filled and the rear trailer was empty. Hauling empty trailers, or "deadheads" as they are often called, can be hard to control. 
  • The truck's data recorder, or "black box" was destroyed in the accident, though investigators believe they may still be able to access some data.  
  • In one of their briefings, the NTSB indicated that the FedEx truck did not engage the brakes prior to impact with the bus. Investigators are looking into why Evans didn't brake. 
Charter Bus
  • The "black box" on the bus remained intact and investigators are currently checking its data. 
  • Unlike the truck, the bus took evasive action to avoid the collision, as evidenced by skid marks on Interstate 5. 
  • Students were forced to kick out windows in order to escape the burning wreckage. 
  • The NTSB will be investigating whether the design of the bus made evacuation difficult, or contributed to the fire spreading.
  • The NTSB has urged regulators to address both fire abatement and access to emergency exits on tour busses for years.    

Baum Hedlund will continue to provide updates on the tragic Orland crash.