Apr 11, 2014 10:09 PM by LiLi Tan, KSBY News
A day after a tragic Northern California bus crash claimed 10 lives, some charter bus company employees sigh they're "okay," putting on brave faces in the wake of tragedy.
"Today is just as rough as yesterday," Silverado Stages CEO Mike Vodarsik, who says he barely slept, therefore being unable to wake up from the nightmare that occurred Thursday evening.
Investigators say a FedEx truck crossed the center grass median on Interstate-5 and hit a tour bus carrying high school students from the Los Angeles area on their way to a campus tour of Humboldt State University. It happened just after 5:40 p.m. on Thursday in Orland, about 20 miles from Chico.
10 people, including both drivers, were killed and 35 others hospitalized after the truck hit the tour bus head on.
The tour bus is owned by Silverado Stages Inc., headquartered in San Luis Obispo and which runs buses to Hearst Castle and for Amtrak.
A day after the fiery crash, Silverado is open and operating.
"It's a very sad day," Vodarsik said. "It's not a good time for anyone involved with this accident."
Vodarsik says to his knowledge the 24-year-old company had not had a single passenger injury to report until Thursday's crash. One of his top priorities now is taking care of the Silverado employees, who Vodarsik refers to as family.
"We have a very close-knit group of people, and we're making every effort we can to be in touch with the appropriate parties from our end," Vodarsik said.
The identity of the bus driver has not yet been released yet. In the meantime, Silverado Stages is cooperating with investigators on analyzing what happened during the crash.
"We're focused on the families, the victims, our family," Vodarsik said. "And we're working with the authorities for as long as it needs to be."
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