Three victims of the fiery crash between a FedEx truck and charter bus carrying dozens of Southern California high school seniors were identified by authorities in Northern California on Tuesday.
Ten people were killed in the April 10 crash in Orland, and friends and family have already identified them as those believed to be dead.
But until Tuesday, coroner’s investigators have only officially identified one victim — Arthur Arzola, 26, of Rancho Cucamonga — because many of the dead were so badly burned that determining who they were was challenging.
The Glenn County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office officially released the identities of the following three victims in a news release Tuesday afternoon: Michael Lee Myvett Jr., 29, of Los Angeles; Ismael Jimenez, 18, of Inglewood; and Talalelei Feleni Lealao-Taiao, 53, of Sacramento.
Myvett was a chaperone on the trip, which was taking underrepresented students — some of them the first in their families to attend college — to visit Humboldt State University in Arcata. Myvett had graduated from Humboldt State.
His fiancée, Mattison Haywood, was also on the trip and died in the crash, family members have said.
Lealao-Taiao was the driver of the bus.
The identity of a fourth victim, Timothy Paul Evans, was also released Tuesday by Glenn County officials.
The 32-year-old from Elk Grove, California was the driver of the FedEx truck.
A memorial event for Myvett was held Tuesday in South Los Angeles.
Jimenez was a student at Animo Inglewood Charter High School. He had helped others escape the burning bus before succumbing himself, witnesses said.
Arzola, who was identified last week by the Sacramento County coroner’s office, was a Los Angeles-based counselor for Humboldt State admissions.
As other victims are positively identified, the Sheriff’s Office planned to release their names in coming days.
The collision occurred when a 2007 FedEx Volvo truck pulling two semi trailers crossed the 60-foot grassy median on the 5 Freeway, swiped a Nissan Altima, and then hit a 2014 Setra motor coach head on, authorities have said.
Autopsies were completed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Sheriff’s Office staff collected dental records and X-rays to identify the victims, according to Tuesday’s news release.