Blown tire can be the cause of a frontal crash that left at least 8 dead in New Mexico, officials say



Fatal injuries in the crash involving the bus and a half in New Mexico

The authorities in New Mexico report multiple fatalities and serious injuries in an accident on Interstate 40 that a Greyhound bus and a semi-truck.

An inflated tire can be the cause of a head-on crash of a semi-trailer and a Greyhound passenger bus on Interstate 40 in New Mexico Thursday afternoon that at least 8 people dead.

Authorities say many of the 49 passengers aboard the bus were injured, although could not immediately have an exact count of the number of injured or their conditions.

Preliminary crash information indicates a semi-tractor-trailer traveling on I-40 EB had a tire blowout and crossed into the next WB-traffic, colliding with a Greyhound bus.

— NMSP (@NMStatePolice) August 30, 2018

New Mexico State Police said the semi was headed east of the highway, Thursday afternoon, when one of the tires blew, sending the rig carrying produce over the median and into oncoming traffic, where it hit the Greyhound in the direction of Phoenix Albuquerque.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the New Mexico state police are investigating.

Twenty patients were treated in the Gallup Indian Medical Center, according to Dr. Kevin Gaines, chief medical officer at the hospital. Of the 20, four were children, but no ages were immediately available.

At least nine patients were treated and sent to the University of New Mexico Hospital, four were transferred to the Banner Hospital in Phoenix, and 10 were still treated in Gallup. The conditions that are treated in Gallup ranged from good (two patients) to severe (two), and critical (one).

At least 47 passengers to ride on the Greyhound bus that was on its way to Albuquerque, with at least one scheduled stop in Phoenix, the company told the Associated Press.

The passenger of the bus involved in the accident experienced front-end damage, while a semi-truck was discovered lying on its side. Video also showed debris scattered over the roadway and the emergency services on the scene.

A witness described the incident as “terrible,” tells KRQE that “screams were coming from the bus.”

“It was horrible that there are people who try to climb out of the windows of the bus… bystanders trying to help people getting ladders off their truck to get to windows of the Greyhound bus to help,” the witness told the outlet. “When we went through the fall semi, everything in the trailer was on the road. It was a disaster…you could say the people were in distress, screams were coming from the bus.”

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.

McKinley County Emergency Management has established the following number for families of passengers seeking information about their relatives: 505-722-2002

— NMSP (@NMStatePolice) August 30, 2018

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 Associated Press contributed to this report.

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