LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The family of an 18-year-old student who died in a fiery crash between a charter bus and a FedEx truck in Orland last month has filed a wrongful death suit.
Ismael Jimenez, a student at Animon Inglewood Charter High School, died while helping save fellow passengers when the bus he was riding in was hit head-on by a FedEx truck on Interstate 5 on April 10.
Ten people were killed, including five students. Investigators have yet to determine why FedEx driver Tim Evans lost control of the vehicle.
“This suit will, for the first time, shed light on the actual operations of Tim Evans, the FedEx truck driver and will discuss the potential defects known on the 2007 Volvo Tractor. The suit will also allege potential design and performance failures with the Setra bus which the students were traveling in,” Jimenez family attorney Paul R. Kiesel said.
FedEx, Volvo, Silverado Stages, the operator of the bus, and Setra, have all been named as defendants in the suit.
Ismael’s mother, Patricia Jimenez, told reporters in Spanish on Tuesday her lawsuit is not about money, but rather to avoid a similar incident from happening again.
“My family wants to know exactly what happened to that FedEx bus. If it wasn’t for that my brother would still be here,” Ismael’s sister, Evelin Jimenez, also said.
“We don’t want this to ever happen to anyone because this is one of the worst pains that anyone could pretty much go through… We don’t care for this money. We want answers,” she said.
Family attorney Paul Kiesel explained the family was forced to file the claim in order to look into the collision in an official capacity.
“If this family doesn’t bring an action, we have no legal authority to participate our own investigation. So by bringing this claim now it gives us the absolute right and entitlement to actively engage in the investigation with the NTSB and the CHP,” Kiesel said.
So far, six lawsuits have been filed in connection to the crash, including one by Rosa Rivera, the mother of a Dorsey High School student who died.
FedEx responded with the following statement: “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.”