ALBUQUERQUE, N. M. – At least seven people were killed and others were seriously injured Thursday in a head-on crash with a commercial passenger bus and a semi-truck along Interstate 40 in New Mexico, near the Arizona border, authorities said.
Preliminary data indicate the half-way to the east and it blew a tire, sending the rig across the median and into oncoming traffic, where it smashed into the bus, New Mexico State Police said.
There were 49 people on board the Greyhound bus. The authorities said many people were transported to hospitals, but they could not immediately have an exact count of the number of injured or their conditions.
Nine bus passengers were treated at the University of New Mexico in the Hospital with three patients expected to be sent. UNM officials not to have any data about the patients’ conditions.
Passing motorists described a chaotic scene, with passengers on the ground and people scream.
Eric Huff was on the way to the Grand Canyon with his girlfriend when they came across the crash.
Huff said the semi trailer was upside down and “the torn pieces,” and the front of the Greyhound bus was beaten, with many of the chairs pressed together. A part of the side of the bus was torn off, ” he said.
“It was an inspiring terrible scene,” he said
Truck driver Santos Soto III-shot-video with the front of the Greyhound shaved off, and the semi split open, the contents scattered across the highway.
He saw people crying on the side of the road as bystanders tried to comfort.
“I was really traumatized myself, because I’m already about two years and I had never seen anything like this,” de Soto said.
“I’m a pretty strong person and I broke down and cried at least 30 minutes,” he added.
Chris Jones was to the west on Interstate 40 when he caught his first glimpse of the semi flipped over. He saw the rest of the wreck and stopped to help the driver of the semi sitting on the edge of the highway.
“It was an intense,” Jones said.
He said that the driver told him that his front tires had popped, causing the truck to veer into oncoming traffic, where it struck the bus.
Greyhound said the bus was on the road from Amersfoort to Phoenix.
“We are fully cooperating with the local authorities and will also be a research of our own,” Greyhound spokeswoman Crystal Booker said in a statement.
The crash near the town of Thoreau. It forced the closure of lanes to the west of the highway and the traffic was backing up as travelers were diverted.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the New Mexico state police are investigating.
Hartounian reported from Phoenix.