FedEx trucks are everywhere and are part of the driving landscape in every city in the United States, including New York City. They are so common that other drivers seldom pay much attention to them. However, a recently filed lawsuit in California raises some issues that should convince drivers to use caution when approaching these ever-present long-haul and local delivery vehicles.
The fatal truck crash that resulted in the lawsuit occurred on April 10 as some Los Angeles high school students were en route to Humboldt State University for a free college tour in northern California. The motor coach carrying the students was about 100 miles north of Sacramento on Interstate 5 when it was hit by a FedEx tractor trailer truck – a truck that witnesses say was on fire before it hit the bus. The bus caught fire and exploded. Five of the students, three adult chaperones and the drivers of both the bus and the truck died in the crash.
The lawsuit alleges that FedEx trucks have a history of catching fire because of mechanical problems, driver error and incorrect loading. It also names the bus driver, whose estate is another defendant in the case, and the bus company. in addition to citing problems FedEx trucks, the lawsuit charges the bus company with inadequate exit doors – doors that would have allowed passengers to escape more easily after the crash.
The California Highway Patrol has not yet determined the cause of the crash. FedEx has not commented on the case except to express condolences to the families of those killed and injured.
Source: New York Daily News, “Mother of student killed in Northern California bus crash sues FedEx,” Apr. 25, 2014.