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California

Bus driver’s family sues FedEx in deadly college trip crash

The family of a bus driver killed along with several high school students and their chaperones in a fiery collision with a FedEx truck earlier this year has filed a lawsuit against the transportation company.

Senio Taiao, the husband of Talalelei Lealao-Taiao, 53, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday against FedEx, seeking  unspecified damages for her death in connection in the April 10 crash on the 5 Freeway in Orland.

The crash occurred when a FedEx truck pulling two 28-foot trailers on the southbound 5 Freeway drove across a 58-foot center median into northbound traffic.

The truck first struck the back of a 2013 Nissan Altima, which spun off the freeway, and then hit a chartered bus driven by Taiao. The bus was carrying chaperones and high school students from Southern California to Humboldt State University.

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A fire erupted after the crash, burning both vehicles and significantly damaging the front of the bus, according to a report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Five students from Southern California high schools and three adult chaperones died in the crash, as did both the drivers. The driver and passenger of the Nissan suffered minor injuries.

Taiao’s case marks the 16th lawsuit filed in connection with the crash. In a statement, FedEx expressed condolences for the crash victims and said it was cooperating with the NTSB investigation. 

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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