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Bus crash: Students headed home to L.A. from Humboldt State

Bus crash: Students headed home to L.A. from Humboldt State
A group of students gather at El Monte High School on Saturday to create a memorial in honor of Adrian Castro, a student who was among those killed in a tour bus crash Thursday in Northern California. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Students from Los Angeles who went on to attend an orientation program at Humboldt State University after Thursday's deadly bus crash on Interstate 5 have begun their trip home.

One of the buses carrying students and chaperons to the university for the program was struck head-on by a FedEx truck that had crossed a grassy median on Interstate 5 near Orland, north of Sacramento.

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Five students from the Los Angeles area died in the accident, along with three chaperons and the drivers of the bus and truck.

A silver motor coach from the same charter company arrived at the university at 9 a.m. Saturday to take more than 40 Los Angeles area students home early.

School officials had decided to cut short their two-day campus tour "because they should be with their families," said outreach director Adrienne Colegrove-Raymond.

A second bus pulled up shortly after to take home students brought in from Fresno, San Francisco and Sacramento.

The 20-year-old program, called Preview Plus, seeks to enroll low-income students, many of whom would be the first in their families to attend college.

The program was still continuing through the day for other high school students visiting with their parents from across the state. But in one building, emergency response staff were still manning a telephone hotline to answer questions about the crash.

Los Angeles Unified Supt. John Deasy said Saturday that all district students injured in the bus crash have been reconnected with their families and those released from the hospital have begun traveling back to Los Angeles.

District officials who went to the crash site have also begun returning to Los Angeles on Saturday. The last team is expected to return by Saturday evening, Deasy said.

paige.stjohn@latimes.com

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