Coverage of a fiery bus crash involving Southern California students

FedEx Driver Had "Way of Making Everyone Feel Happy"

Massive flames could be seen devouring both vehicles just after the Thursday crash

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    NEWSLETTERS

    New information has been found about the drivers of the FedEx truck and tour bus. NTSB continues its search to understand what happened in Thursday's deadly tour bus crash. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 14, 2014. (Published Monday, Apr 14, 2014)

    The wife of the FedEx big-rig driver who died in a head-on crash with a tour bus, killing nine others, remembered her husband on Monday as her best friend.

    Candice Otto Evans paid tribute to her husband, Tim, a lifelong resident of the Sacramento area who had married his high school sweetheart, fathered two daughters and helped coach their soccer and softball teams.

    "He was my best friend, my teammate, my rock, my partner in crime, my everything," Candice wrote on Facebook. "He was my saving grace. He saved me from myself. He believed in me when I couldn't and never ever let me fail."

    He was the guy who "just stopped by to say hi," she wrote, "and had a way of making everyone feel happy."

    "He was perfect for me, a gift from God and was taken too soon. I don't understand ... I never will, but I do know that because of his LOVE, I will go on and be a magnificent WARRIOR.

    "RIP beautiful soulmate."

    The crash happened Thursday when the truck crossed a grassy median on Interstate 5 in Orland.

    The truck slammed into a bus carrying 44 Los Angeles-area high school students and three chaperones.

    They were on a trip to Humboldt State University in Arcata.

    As family and friends mourned their loved ones, investigators continued to probe the cause of the crash.

    Investigators have found no evidence that Evans ever attempted evasive action or used his brakes.

    Investigators have learned that 32-year-old FedEx driver had made a delivery to a town called Weed near the Oregon border, before taking on a new load.

    He was returning home to Elk Grove where his wife awaited with their two young daughters.

    Officials were seeking his cellphone records to try to learn more about his last 72 hours.

    They were also interviewing passengers and the coach's owner, Silverado Stages of
    San Luis Obispo, in Los Angeles.

    Bonnie Duran -- a suburban Seattle resident who reported that the FedEx truck was on fire as it crossed the grass median, hit the Nissan Altima in which she and her husband were passengers, then smashed into the school bus -- also shot video after the crash that has been made available to the NTSB, said National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind.

    Other witnesses have contradicted Duran's account of the FedEx big rig being on fire before the crash and Rosekind said, "There is no evidence of pre-impact fire located at the crash scene, in the center median or on the highway lanes."

    Investigators will study video from a CHP cruiser to find out how survivors escaped through rows of emergency windows as smoke and flames filled the coach, Rosekind said.

    The driver of the bus, meanwhile, was identified as Talalelei Taiao, a 53-year-old mother of two who recently had become a grandmother.

    She honked, braked and swerved to try to avoid the crash, passengers said.

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