Wash. couple survives CA bus crash that killed 10

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by ALISON MORROW / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on April 12, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Updated Sunday, Apr 13 at 8:59 AM

A Lake Tapps couple is staying in a hotel in northern California tonight thanks to the Red Cross, after a FedEx truck slammed into their car before crashing into a bus full of high school students on I-5 Thursday.

Bonnie and Joe Duran were returning from vacation, driving through a rural part of California on their way back to Washington.

A FedEx truck heading southbound on I-5 veered across the median and hit Bonnie’s driver side, then pummeled into a bus taking high school students on a college tour of Humboldt State University.

The explosion that followed killed 10 people, including 5 students, and injured 30 others.

Bonnie and Joe walked away uninjured.

“I keep telling all my friends, ‘It was literally one foot and an angel that separated them from death,’” their daughter Amy Birk said. “I really, truly believe it was a miracle.”

Bonnie called her daughter and son-in-law immediately, describing the FedEx truck prior to the crash, explaining that she had just a second to react.

“An 18-wheeler coming straight at her, on fire,” Amy’s husband, Cameron said. “When I saw that fireball, I realized immediately, this was not just a fender-bender on I-5.”

Amy and Cameron are deeply saddened by the deaths of others who perished in the crash. They look at their 10-month old daughter, Rilynn, and cringe at what her future could have held.

“That’s all I could think about last night,” Amy said. “How close she came to not growing up with her grandparents.”

They’re not sure why Bonnie and Joe survived while so many other families lost loved ones in the tragic accident. Amy and Cameron only know what the experience has taught them.

“Hug your loved ones,” Cameron remembered Joe saying yesterday. “Life is short. Tomorrow’s not promised. Don’t take it for granted.”
 

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