Tour bus survivor describes deadly Orland crash

As the investigation continues into the deadly Interstate 5 crash involving a FedEx truck and a tour bus full of students bound for Humboldt State University, stories of survival are beginning to surface.

With so much grief surrounding the tragedy that killed 10 people, 18-year-old Harley Hoyt knows all too well he's one of the lucky ones. Prayers were answered for the Hoyt Family as they arrived from San Diego to Glenn Medical Center in Willows, Calif.

On his way to freshman orientation at HSU, Hoyt expected to see the first glimpse of his future. Then the crash happened.

"Chaos is what I saw," Hoyt said outside the hospital. He was wearing clothes given to him by the Red Cross and had bandages covering wounds on his arms and legs.

Sitting in the back of the bus, Hoyt didn't see the FedEx truck coming, but he heard the screams of the others up front.

"Once we hit the impact, the front of the bus was on fire, and smoke started coming through the whole bus," Hoyt said.

He was able to break open an emergency window exit just in time.

"I looked out the window, and the FedEx bus was already on fire, so I was like, okay, we're going to blow up any second," Hoyt recalled.

Getting out of the bus was just the beginning.

"We all crossed the Interstate 5 and got on the southbound side, and after that, everyone just was laying on the grass," Hoyt explained. "People were out of it. People were crying. People were pulling their hair. People were screaming."

Hoyt suffered only minor injuries, something his parents had to see to believe.

"Definitely had an angel with him," Hoyt's father Hector Hoyt said when he arrived at the hospital.

"Just knowing that we have a special gift that was given to us, when others didn't receive the same," mother Lisa Hoyt added.

"Lucky is an understatement. Blessed is an understatement," Harley Hoyt said. "I don't have a word to describe how I feel. I'm so thankful that I'm here. I'm grateful that I'm alive."

The high school senior said he's not going to let this experience stop him from going to HSU, where he plans to study environmental engineering. But first, Hoyt's flying back home with his family.


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