"We're looking for the perishable information about this incident..." - Mark Rosenkind, NTSB
That's the main information gleaned from the Press Conference held moments ago regarding the bus crash that claimed 10 lives and injured more than 30 Thursday evening on I5 in Orland.
The NTSB expects to be investigating for at least a week or two, but they don't handle information regarding deaths or other casualties, and people should concentrate their inquiries to the local coroner and police.
The NTSB investigation will center on the human/machine/environment situation. The health/psychology/etc.. of the driver, the conditional and upkeep of the vehicles, and other environmental factors that could have contributed to the accident.
A day after the deadly bus crash, there's a need to bring survivors together with worried family members.
That's being made possible by Glen County and Red Cross officials. They set up a reunification center in Orland not far from where the accident happened. As students who were injured are released, they're being brought to the center.
Parents are being contacted by the LA area schools which are involved. Everyone at the center also has access to food and drink, a place to sleep, mental counseling, and even health care if need be.
The center is located at:
Veterans' Memorial Hall Building of Orland
320 3rd. Street
Orland, CA 95963
The NTSB has deployed an experienced team of investigators to the crash site. Why is it now a federal case?:
The accident occurred on an Interstate highway, resulting in multiple fatalities and involved a motor coach that's operated under federal guidelines. Former NTSB Chief Mark Rosenker says the federal effort will be conducted in concert with the CHP.
"They're being helped clearly by the local officials and the state troopers. This is something which we have great experience in. The state police, I am confident, have documented photographically the evidence scene, the accident scene. They'll be getting also the records from the medical examiner and they'll be interviewing the survivors so that they can understand the process worked to evacuate the bus," Rosenker said.
It will be in effect, CSI Orland.
"Clearly they're going to be interested in both drivers. They're going to be making sure they do a 72 hour background and history of each of these drivers. They're going to be looking at the maintenance records of these vehicles," added Rosenker.
Glenn County Undersheriff Richard Warren said it will take time to identify the victims but authorities will work as fast as they can.
"Due to the nature of the crash and the fact that most of the bodies suffered burns has made our task of identifying them much more difficult. We'll be getting medical records, dental records, and whatever we can so we can positively identify those who have perished in this tragedy.
If we're unable to do that we'll be able to use DNA, but that will take much longer. Our main goal is to identify those deceased as quickly and efficiently as possible, to treat those with the dignity and respect that they and their families deserve, and to get the answers and information to the families as quickly as we can," he said.
Nine victims died at the scene. A tenth died at UC Davis Medical Center.
A Los Angeles man and the woman he had proposed to in Paris at Christmas were among the 10 dead in the bus crash. Michael Myvett, 29, and fiancee Mattison Haywood were serving as chaperones on the bus that was traveling from Southern California to Humboldt State University. The college was his alma mater.
Myvett had given Haywood her engagement ring outside the Louvre on Christmas Day, said his employers at the Center for Autism and Other Disorders in Torrance. Myvett had provided therapy for autistic children for the last two years.
The Los Angeles Unified School District had 19 students on that bus involved in a fiery crash in northern California. Assistant Superintendent of School Operations Earl Perkins says three district teams are heading to the site of the crash to help get kids home and connected with their parents.
"We currently have a contingency of three groups heading to the crash site now to meet with parents, to meet with students, to focus on getting these students back to LA. They have been deployed to about four different hospitals in the area," Perkins said.
Officials with the L.A. school district will personally visit every injured student and their parents today.
Governor Jerry Brown is mourning those who have lost their lives in the bus crash. Brown released a statement saying he and his wife Anne "extend our heartfelt and deep sympathies to the families, friends and loved ones of those who died in the tragic accident near Orland."
A Southern California family is desperately trying to locate one of two identical twins. Miguel Serrato says his sister 17-year-old Marisa Serrato has been missing since the crash. The other twin was on one of two other buses making the trip. They were not involved in the accident.
The California Trucking Association released a statement saying they are deeply saddened by the tragic highway accident that took place in Northern California and we wish to extend their heartfelt condolences to all who have suffered as a result.