ORLAND, Calif. —
Eric M. Weiss, a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said a multi-disciplinary team of highway crash experts left on a flight Friday morning for the crash scene.
"Every piece of paper associated with this will be looked at," Weiss said. "Our first priority (though) is to get out there as quickly as possible and to process the scene and talk to any witnesses."
The crash happened a little after 5:30 p.m. on the interstate near Orland, a small city about 100 miles north of Sacramento.
The bus was one of two that the admissions office at Humboldt State University had chartered to bring prospective students from Southern California to tour the Arcata campus, Humboldt's Vice President of Administrative Affairs Joyce Lopes said.
The bus was owned by Silverado Stages, a tour bus company based in San Luis Obispo. The company said in a statement on its website Thursday night that it was assisting authorities in gathering information.
"Our top priority is making sure that the injured are being cared for," the company said.
Humboldt State President Rollin Richmond issued a statement on the school's website. "Our hearts go out to those who have been affected, and we are here to support them, and their families, in any way possible," Richmond said.
The students came from a number of Southern California high schools and Humboldt spokesman Simon Chabel said the college was working to confirm where exactly they were from.
Los Angeles Unified School District spokesman Tom Waldman said 19 students from 15 schools were on the bus that crashed. District officials, including crisis counselors, left for the scene at about 5:30 a.m. Friday and Superintendent John Deasy was traveling back from a business trip to the East Coast. Crisis counselors were also being made available at district schools.