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Humboldt State spokesman Simon Chabel said the school was working to confirm where in Southern California the students on the wrecked bus are from.

“There is still a lot of information to be gathered, and we are working as hard as we can to gather that information and communicate it as best as we can to parents and other family members during this terrible tragedy,” he said.

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy said an unknown number of students from Manual Arts Senior High School and Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools were on the trip. He did not know whether they were on the bus involved in the crash.

A high school senior from Alliance Renee & Meyer Luskin Academy High School in Los Angeles said she and a few of her classmates who were accepted to the university were invited to go on the tour.

Sabrina Garcia said the tour began Thursday, with buses taking students in Southern California on the ride to the campus for a three-day stay there. She said she decided to postpone the tour because she had a school project to complete.

“I was devastated when I heard about the crash, and relieved that I didn’t attend,” Garcia said. “I can’t imagine how those kids feel. You think you’re going somewhere safe with your school — and you end up in an accident.”

A CHP dispatcher says the bus and truck were on opposite sides of the freeway when the truck crossed the median and slammed into the bus, causing an explosion and fire.

Investigators say the truck driver might have been trying to avoid a passenger car that was also involved in the crash, which shut down north- and south-bound traffic on the freeway.

“There was a small white sedan in front of the truck,” Heitman of the CHP said. “The FedEx vehicle did sideswipe the sedan before it crossed the median.”

A first responder who helped set up a triage at the scene said 36 or 37 people received injuries ranging from severe to minor burns, broken legs and noses and head lacerations.

“The victims were teenage kids. A lot of them were freaked out. They were shocked. They still couldn’t grasp what happened,” Jason Wyman with the Orland Volunteer Fire Department said.

Wyman said he was first focused on putting out the fire, and once it was under control he saw dozens of people walking wounded.

“The first victim that was taken out of the bus was severely burned,” Wyman said.

A mother of identical twin girls from Norte Vista High School in Riverside told KNBC-TV her daughters traveled on two different buses, and that one of them was on the bus involved in the crash. The tearful mother spoke in Spanish and told the station she felt sad and desperate as she tried to learn about the other daughter’s fate.

Nine people were taken to Enloe Medical Center in Chico, hospital spokeswoman Christina Chavira said. Two of those patients were listed in critical condition, two in fair condition, and six were in undetermined condition as of 10 p.m. Thursday, said Denise Atkinson, an Enloe nursing supervisor.

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