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Accident Report Detail

Truck-Tractor Double Trailer Median Crossover Collision With Motorcoach and Postcrash Fire on Interstate 5, Orland, California, April 10, 2014

Executive Summary

On April 10, 2014, about 5:40 p.m., a 2007 Volvo truck-tractor in combination with double trailers, operated by FedEx Freight, Inc., was traveling southbound in the right lane of Interstate 5 (I-5) in Orland, California. At the same time, a 2014 Setra motorcoach, operated by Silverado Stages, Inc., was traveling northbound on I-5 in the right lane. In the vicinity of milepost 26, the combination vehicle moved into the left lane, entered the 58-foot-wide center median, and traveled into the northbound traffic lanes of I-5.

The truck-tractor collided with a 2013 Nissan Altima four-door passenger car, which then rotated counterclockwise and departed the highway to the east. The truck-tractor continued moving south in the northbound lanes and collided with the front of the motorcoach, and both vehicles partially departed the highway to the east. A postcrash fire ensued. Both the truck and the motorcoach drivers died, along with eight motorcoach passengers. The remaining 37 motorcoach passengers received injuries of varying degree. The two occupants of the passenger car received minor injuries.

Probable Cause

​The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Orland, California, crash was the inability of the FedEx Freight truck driver to maintain control of the vehicle due to his unresponsiveness for reasons that could not be established from available information. Contributing to the severity of some motorcoach occupant injuries were high impact forces; the release of combustible fluids, leading to a fast-spreading postcrash fire; difficulties in motorcoach egress; and lack of restraint use.

Accident Location: Orland , CA USA  
Accident Date: 4/10/2014
Accident ID: HWY14MH009

Date Adopted: 7/14/2015
NTSB Number: HAR1501
NTIS Number: PB2015-104149