Teen Files Suit Against FedEx, Charter Company In Deadly Orland Bus Crash

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A student injured in the fiery April 10 crash between a tour bus and a FedEx truck in Northern California has filed a negligence lawsuit against the mailing giant and the bus owners.

Miles Hill, 18, filed the civil suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. He seeks unspecified damages and compensation for medical treatment.

Ten people were killed, including five students, when the bus was hit head-on by a FedEx truck on the 5 Freeway in Orland. It remains unclear why the FedEx driver lost control of the big rig.

Hill, who was sitting behind the bus driver at the time of impact, suffered a broken collarbone and second-degree burns in the crash.

“It actually hurts to stand here because the burn on my leg,” Hill said. “My ears are pretty messed up right now. My right ear might actually be infected.”

The Mt. Washington teen said he had to kick out a bus window in order to escape the fire, claiming Silverado Stages did not have a safe method of escape for passengers.

The suit stated that the “emergency exit procedures in the SUBJECT BUS were inadequate.”

“Miles and other students on the bus had difficultly exiting when the fire erupted,” attorney Christine Spagnoli said.

“After getting out of that bus, I heard people screaming, ‘Help me, I don’t want to die,’” Hill said.

Additionally, the suit accused FedEx of failing to inspect the truck to make sure it was safe to operate and would not create “an unreasonable risk of injury” to others.

The complaint alleged the FedEx driver “negligently, recklessly, and/or carelessly drove” the truck.

“Our heartfelt condolences remain with everyone touched by this tragic accident. We remain focused on providing support to those affected and cooperating with the authorities as they conduct their investigation. This is not the time for us to discuss pending litigation,” FedEx spokesperson Shea Leordeanu said.

Silverado Stage has not commented on the pending case.

So far, five lawsuits have been filed in connection to the crash, including one by Rosa Rivera, the mother of a Dorsey High School student who died.

The Hill family is petitioning to have one judge handle all the suits.

Meantime, Hill is scheduled to have a skin graft Thursday. His biggest concern, however, is his broken collarbone.

“That is what really worries me. Because I’m a violinist. I got it X-rayed as a follow-up yesterday, and they said I might never be able to play again,” he said.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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