Coverage of a fiery bus crash involving Southern California students

El Monte High School Student Killed in Fiery Bus Crash Identified

The victim was one of several students traveling to visit Humboldt State University when a bus collided with a big rig

By Andrew Lopez, Nyree Arabian and Lolita Lopez
|  Saturday, Apr 12, 2014  |  Updated 6:09 AM PDT
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Friends and relatives are grieving after hearing that Adrian Castro is among those dead in Thursday's fiery tour bus crash in Northern California. The El Monte High School senior was to be the first in his family to attend college. Lolita Lopez spent the day in El Monte with those who knew Castro, reporting for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014.

Lolita Lopez/Scott Spiro

Friends and relatives are grieving after hearing that Adrian Castro is among those dead in Thursday's fiery tour bus crash in Northern California. The El Monte High School senior was to be the first in his family to attend college. Lolita Lopez spent the day in El Monte with those who knew Castro, reporting for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014.

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Bus Company in Deadly Crash Had Good Safety Record

The NBC4 I-Team found that Silverado Stages, the bus company involved in Thursday's deadly Northern California crash, has a good safety record. It is one of the largest charter bus companies in California, and the company had two crashes in the last three months. FedEx, however, has been involved in 171 accidents in California -- five of them fatal -- in the last two years.
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An 18-year-old high school senior from the Los Angeles area was believed to be killed when a tour bus carrying students to a university collided with a delivery truck in Northern California.

Adrian Castro, a male student and football player at El Monte Union High School had not been contacted since the crash, district superintendent Nick Salerno told NBC4 Friday. 

Castro's family said they were told by authorities that the teen was on the bus that crashed. Salerno could not confirm Castro's death.

"I just felt like I lost a brother, I lost a family member. It hurt real bad," said classmate Nathaniel Medina, who was on the football team with Castro.

Medina said that Castro was going to be the first in his family to go to college.

"He was telling me he hasn't decided what college to go to and then, um, he was telling me he was really excited because he was going to college," Medina said.

Castro had already been accepted to Humboldt State University and was visiting the campus when the bus crashed.

A vigil was scheduled for Monday night at 7 p.m. at El Monte High School to remember Castro.

"They did do a moment of silence (Friday morning,) student Jackie Zuniga said. "It's very like, so sad to see. I'm speechless you know."

Two other students who were on another bus traveling to the university were taken to a hospital for observation, Salerno said.

Counselors were being sent to the high school for faculty and students.

"He was just like, really friendly so he was like, let's take pictures so we took pictures," Natalia Gaona said. "I’ll remember him as a really good friend, who was really trustworthy, who was an amazing football player."

Five adults and five students were killed when a FedEx tractor-trailer veered across a grassy highway median and slammed into their bus in a fiery wreck, authorities said. The charter bus collided with the delivery truck and a white Nissan on Interstate 5 near Orland, Calif., about 5:40 p.m., CHP officials said.

Two other buses carrying students to Humboldt State University made their way to the college. An admissions counselor from Rancho Cucamonga was killed in the crash. 

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