Serious Questions Raised About Median Barrier in Orland High School Student Tragedy
A Federal Express truck driver for unknown reasons crossed a grassy highway median on I5 near Orland and slammed into a bus carrying more than 40 high school students on their way to visit Humboldt State University. The accident occurred on I5, north of Route 32 in Orland. The devastating incident killed 10 people and left many injured. The NTSB has sent a team to investigate the horrific incident. This is one of the worst school bus incidents since the Yuba City bus crash of 1976 where 27 students and the choir director were killed when their bus drove off the Marina Vista off ramp on southbound Interstate-680 in Martinez.
This tragedy raises major questions and concerns regarding the safety of the median and the absence of a barrier on I5, and truck and bus related issues such as maintenance, training, and operation of the vehicles.
Caltrans Median Barrier Requirements
The California Traffic Manual, Chapter 7, Section 4, discusses the purpose and the requirements to install a median barrier on California roadways. The manual states that the purpose of a median barrier is to reduce the risk of an errant vehicle crossing the median and colliding with opposing traffic.
Below is the specification of what barrier type to use depending on
the median width.
It is presently unknown why no barrier was installed at this location. A median barrier would have prevented this tragedy from occurring.
Truck and Bus Issues
There are also various questions regarding the Fed Ex driver as well as the bus driver. In these types of truck and bus accidents, there are questions concerning the maintenance of the vehicles, the training of the drivers, and the types of licenses the drivers possessed at the time of the incident. It is presently unknown why the Fed Ex driver crossed over or what efforts, if any, the bus took to avoid the Fed Ex truck.
The Brandi Law Firm has represented numerous families throughout Northern and Southern California in actions against the State for failure to install median barriers, on roads such as 101, highway 37, I5, and SR 12. On July 18, 2011, the Brandi Law firm obtained a 29 million verdict for a family from a cross over accident on SR 12 . The Brandi Law Firm has also handled a number of victims of trucking and busing accidents. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed as the result of a semi-truck collision or bus accident, we can effectively represent you. If you would like more information, go to our website. or contact us at 1-800-481-1615 or email us.