The tragic crash of a FedEx delivery truck and a charter bus carrying college hopefuls to a tour of a college campus resulted in several deaths, including five high school students, both vehicle drivers and three adult chaperones. The accident took place when the FedEx vehicle crossed over a median and crashed head-on into the bus, which burst into flames. Though many of the students who were on board were able to kick out windows and escape, those who could not get out perished. Less than two weeks after the event, the first lawsuit has been filed against FedEx, the owner of the charter bus, and the estate of the FedEx driver.
The wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court. It is being filed by Rosa Rivera, the mother of one of the students who perished in the accident. Rivera’s daughter Jennifer Bonilla was 17-years old and according to her mother had been awarded a college scholarship and was slated to the first in their family who would have attended college. The lawsuit seeks $100 million dollars in damages. Though no other suits have been filed, it is anticipated that more will follow from family members of the other victims, as well as those who were surviving passengers.
The accident took place on April 10th in Northern California, and though the suit claims that the FedEx truck was on fire at the time of the accident, investigators from the National Highway Transportation Safety Board as well as those from the California Highway Patrol have indicated that they do not yet know what the cause of the accident was. According to the lawsuit, FedEx has a history of negligence in the operation of its freight trucks. The suit claims that there have been incidents involving the delivery company’s trucks catching fire in the past, due to mistakes made by the vehicles’ drivers, vehicles being loaded improperly and mechanical problems. The suit also names Silverado Stages, the owners of the bus, charging that the company did not properly outfit the bus with adequate escape routes and emergency exits.
Silverado Stages representatives have not commented on the lawsuit. FedEx Corporation issued a statement reading, “Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone affected by this tragic accident. We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss potential litigation.”