Orland bus crash victims remembered one year later

Apr 10, 2015 4:06 PM by News Staff

It has been a year since a bus carrying dozens of Los Angeles area high school students was slammed into by a FedEx big rig on Interstate 5 in Orland leaving 10 dead.

The tragedy rocked the nation for days after the crash, and has continued to capture national headlines as several lawsuits have been filed alleging negligence on the part of the FedEx driver, and the bus company.

On April 10, 2014 the charter bus carrying 44 high school students was traveling northbound on I-5 in Orland when it was struck by a FedEx big rig whose driver crossed the median, hitting a Nissan Altima and then slamming into the bus. The bus immediately burst into flames.

Five students, three chaperones and the two drivers were killed. The students lost were Jennifer Caroline Bonilla, 17, Adrian Castro, 19, Denise Eraina Gomez, 18, and Ismael Jimenez, 18, and Marisa Elaine Serrato, 17.

Also lost in the crash were Michael Myvett, 29, and Mattison Haywood, 25, chaperones who were engaged to be married. Arthur Arzola, 26, a Humboldt State employee, Talalelei Feleni Lealao-Taiao, 53, the bus driver and Timothy Paul Evans, 32, the truck driver.

Memorials will be held across the state Friday, in Los Angeles a plaque honoring Humboldt State alumni Myvett and Haywood was installed at Union Station during a ceremony. Duplicate plaques will be available to the city of Orland, Humboldt State, and each of the high schools that had a student who died in the crash.

Following the crash, 24 of the surviving students decided to attend college at Humboldt State. The school has created scholarships those lost and a candlelight vigil will be held Friday evening.

In Orland, a memorial has been erected at the crash site, and the city has built a banner thanking firefighters for their quick response. People living on Date Street, which runs parallel to the crash site, have organized a candlelight vigil to honor the victims. Friday night's vigil will start at 7 p.m., and a second vigil will be held Saturday night.


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