Fedex truck runs into charter bus transporting students and causes fiery crash. (68613)

Humboldt State University’s president and the California State University chancellor both offered condolences today to relatives and families of students who were killed or injured in a bus crash in Northern California, but both said they hope to continue the program of busing students to visit the college campus.

“Humboldt State University has been bringing students from the L.A. area up to our campus for a number of years by asking them to ride on buses, to give them an opportunity to explore our university, to meet faculty, to meet existing students and to find how they can become a member of our class of students at Humboldt State University,” HSU President Rollin Richmond said. “I’ve enjoyed working with them very much.

“…We hope that the future will mean that we can continue to do this because it provides real opportunities for students, especially students from the area of Los Angeles where these students come from. And it’s essentially part of what the California State University is all about—providing real opportunities for students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to be a part of the university.”

Ten people were killed Thursday night when a bus carrying students from the Los Angeles area to HSU was struck head-on by a FedEx truck that has crossed the freeway median. Five of the dead were believed to be students. Dozens of others were hospitalized.

Richmond said he and CSU Chancellor Timothy White were able to meet with some of the students at hospitals this morning.

“I am very much impressed by these students, by their interest in education and by their willingness to continue think about what they’re going to do for the future, and their strength in the face of this terrible event,” Richmond said.

White said the CSU system pledged support to the school districts that had students aboard the bus, and to the families affected by the crash.

“This is a big part of the mission of the California State University, is to reach into communities and seek students who are first in their family to have the opportunity to go to college,” White said. “The program at Humboldt State is one of our exemplars reaching down into Los Angeles. The great irony here, the great sadness is that these are the very students California needs to be successful going forward. We’re doubly saddened by the fact that many of them are first-generation and students of low-income (families) who have done all the right academic things and had their dream of going to Humboldt State taken away by this tragic accident.

“We look forward to continuing these programs in the future, but the soul of the CSU has been cut deeply by this horrific accident,” he said.