(CNN) -- A group of low-income and first-generation prospective college students were the victims of a fiery freeway crash that killed 10, including five youths.
It was a trip to open doors and possibilities for the students, but it was cut short by a horrific crash.
Three buses -- two from the Los Angeles area and one from the Fresno area -- were en route Thursday evening to Humboldt State University in Arcata when a FedEx truck crossed a median and slammed head-on into one of the buses.
The collision killed both drivers, five students and three chaperones, said Lt. Bruce Carpenter with the California Highway Patrol.
The crash resulted in a fire that engulfed the truck and bus, spewing black smoke.
"I went outside, and everything was in flames already," a local resident, Luis Lopez, told CNN affiliate KXTV. "There were a couple of explosions after that."
The reason the FedEx truck crossed the median remains under investigation, the Highway Patrol said. The investigation could take months.