A college visit by more than 40 high school students turned tragic when a FedEx tractor-trailer veered across a grassy highway median and slammed into their bus in a fiery wreck that left 10 people dead, authorities said.
Someone kicked out a window on the bus, and many of those aboard squeezed through and ran for their lives to the other side of Interstate 5 before the vehicle exploded in flames.
The 44 teenagers aboard, nearly half of from the Los Angeles school district, were on their way to Humboldt State University in far Northern California.
Both drivers were killed, along with three adult chaperones and five teenage students, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Towering flames devoured both vehicles just after the crash, and clouds of smoke billowed into the sky until firefighters doused the fire, leaving behind scorched black hulks of metal. Bodies were draped in blankets inside the burned-out bus.