Survivor recounts escape from deadly Orland bus crash

CHICO, Calif. - A survivor in a deadly big rig crash in Orland, Calif. has headed home from the hospital to Los Angeles. Miles Hill, 18, was sitting right behind the tour bus driver when the crash happened. Hill said a FedEx truck in the opposite lane switched lanes and came right at the bus full of students.

"It was double-bedded FedEx ground truck. Both of the beds were askewed at some sort of weird angle. And it just hit us," Hill said. "It swerved into our lane and hit us head on. That's when I prepared to give up and thought, 'This is it. It's over'."

After the tractor-trailer careened directly toward the bus, Hill said he was able to escape serious injury.

"I had shielded my face with my army jacket which I now found out is flame resistant. My face is OK minus my hair being burnt down, my ears being burnt," Hill detailed.

Hill also managed to escape the burning bus because of some quick thinking.

"I kicked out a window and booked it. Some other people came out of that window after. I'm grateful they did," Hill said. "There was another window that got kicked out in the back. So 36 people made it out in total."

Hill said he blacked out after the impact and actually didn't remember anything after that. He read about his actions in the newspaper.

Hill suffered second-degree burns on both his hands and the left side of his body. He also broke his collarbone during the impact.

Hill says the seatbelt he was wearing most likely helped save his life.

"I've had it beaten in my head. I never used to wear a seatbelt when I was a kid and I'd always get yelled at. So then I started doing it more and more."

Several of the other students around him weren't wearing seatbelts. Everyone who was thrown from the bus died, according to NTSB.

"I had my seatbelt on the entire time, because I figured something was going to go wrong," said Hill.


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