Officials in northern California on the U.S. west coast say a FedEx truck crossed a highway divider Thursday and collided with a bus carrying high school students, killing nine people and injuring about 35 others.
The tour bus and large truck burst into flames after colliding near Orland, about 250 kilometers north of San Francisco. California Highway Patrol officials say a third vehicle was also involved in the accident.
The drivers of both the truck and bus were killed, along with seven other people on the bus.
The students from the Los Angeles area of southern California were headed to Humboldt State University in northern California.
According to a statement on the university's website, three buses - two from Los Angeles and one from Fresno - were carrying the students to the campus. The two buses not involved in the accident have arrived on campus where the students have been placed in dormitories.
The university says the students took the long ride north to participate in Preview Plus, a 20-year-old program that brings low-income and first-generation prospective college students from the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas to Humboldt's campus.
The students are scheduled to attend an annual Spring Preview event with other prospective students on Friday. The teenagers are set to meet Saturday with the staff from Humboldt's Educational Opportunity Program, which helps historically underrepresented students achieve their academic, personal and career goals.
Homboldt's president, Rollin Richmond said the university is "deeply saddened" by the tragic accident. He said "our hearts go out to those who have been affected and we are here to support them and their families, in any way possible."