Truck-bus collision kills 10 in California

by Eric Pearson

A collision in northern California between a FedEx truck and a bus killed ten people Thursday evening. According to witnesses, the FedEx truck crossed a median and slammed head-on into a bus carrying students and chaperones. The students from various Los Angeles-area schools were on a trip to visit Humboldt State University in Arcata. The collision occurred in Orland, about 100 miles north of Sacramento.

As a result of the collision, both drivers, five students and three chaperones were killed, according to Lt. Bruce Carpenter of the California Highway Patrol. At least 34 people were taken to local hospitals, authorities said. The crash resulted in a fire that engulfed the truck and tour bus in flames, spewing black smoke into the sky. “I went outside, and everything was in flames already,” a local resident, Luis Lopez, reported. “There were a couple of explosions after that.”

The reason the FedEx truck crossed the median remains under investigation, the Highway Patrol said. The investigation could take months.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson and trucking accidents

Heygood, Orr & Pearson partner Eric D. Pearson represented the family of Nick Stout, a teenage boy who suffered a traumatic brain injury when the bus he was taking to church camp slammed into a concrete bridge abutment in East Texas, killing four and injuring dozens. Evidence showed that the driver of the bus, Ernest Carter, was under the influence of cocaine and Valium at the time of the crash. He was also suffering from fatigue due to his failure to adhere to government regulations relating to maximum hours and minimum rest periods. Following a three week trial, the jury in the 14th Judicial District Court of Dallas County, Texas found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded the Stout family more than $36 million.

Other attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have negotiated a $15 million settlement of a case involving an 18-wheeler accident that killed several members of the same family. And they achieved verdicts or settlements of $7.25 million, $5.2 million, $5 million, and $1.8 million in other 18-wheeler cases, just to name a few.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson is AV-rated, the highest legal and ethical rating available from the leading law firm rating service. Our partners Michael Heygood, Jim Orr, and Eric Pearson are all Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Heygood and Mr. Orr are additionally Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Our partners been voted by their peers as “Super Lawyers” in the state of Texas for several years in a row.*

If you have been injured, or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed, in a trucking or bus accident, you need an experienced, qualified legal counsel at the earliest opportunity. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we have the experience and knowledge to pursue a trucking case against defendants large or small. To speak with a lawyer about your case, contact Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form.


Michael Heygood, James Craig Orr, Jr. and Eric Pearson were selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication, for the years 2003 through 2014.

by Eric Pearson

Eric Pearson is a licensed attorney and a partner at HO&P who handles commercial and personal injury lawsuits. Eric has been selected to the Super Lawyers List, a Thomson Reuters publication.