ORLAND (CBS13) — Fresh out of the hospital, Bonnie and Joe Duran came back, drawn to the spot where they almost lost their lives in a deadly crash between a tour bus and a FedEx truck.
“Somehow we survived,” said Bonnie Duran. “I looked over and saw the FedEx truck coming straight for me.”
“It was like a 3-D movie,” said Joe Duran. “Imagine a Mack truck coming out of a movie.”
The FedEx truck was heading south on Interstate 5 when it veered across the median. Though some buses into the northbound lanes. The truck clipped the Durans’ car before hitting a tour bus head-on.
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“I could tell I wasn’t going to get out of his way,” said Bonnie Duran. “It was pretty scary.”
She swerved just enough to avoid a direct hit as their rental car slid into a ditch.
“We looked at each other and what did you say?” Joe Duran said.
“I just said we’re alive. We’re alive,” Bonnie Duran said. “Man it was unreal.”
Moments later the Washington couple says the bus carrying more than 40 high-school students from Los Angeles County burst into flames.
“Three booms,” said Joe Duran. “Like a big huge boom, and another one and somebody said you could hear tires popping.”
The accident killed 10 people, including five students, three chaperones and the FedEx and tour bus drivers.
Investigators say it’s unclear why the FedEx driver lost control. They’re looking into whether he fell asleep or swerved to avoid another collision, or had a mechanical problem.
But the Durans told us something so startling we had to ask twice: Bonnie Duran says she’s sure the FedEx truck careening toward her was already on fire before it ever hit the bus.
It could shed light on a crash investigation expected to take months.
“It was so scary,” Bonnie Duran said. “We were wondering if anyone was going to get out of there alive.”