Eight people are dead and several injured after a collision between a semi-truck and a Greyhound bus on the interstate in New Mexico, reports USA Today (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/08/30/several-dead-scores-injured-after-greyhound-bus-and-truck-collide-new-mexico/1150365002).
The state’s medical examiner officer said that seven bodies had been recovered from the accident scene, and another person died later after being taken to an area hospital.
According to the New Mexico State Police, early information indicates the semi-truck was going east when it blew one of its tires, sending it across the median and into traffic, where it collided with the bus.
Motorists such as Eric Huff, who was passing by, described a frantic scene with people screaming and passengers on the ground. Huff, who was headed to the Grand Canyon at the time, said the semi-truck’s trailer was in pieces and upside down, while the front of the bus was smashed, with many passenger seats pushed together. Part of the side of the Greyhound was also torn off.
Santos Soto III, a truck driver, took a video that showed that the semi-truck was split open and the bus front had been sheared off. Contents from the trailer littered the highway. Soto said that people were crying off to the side of the road while bystanders tried to offer comfort. The truck driver added that he was upset and had never seen an accident like this.
Greyhound reported that its bus, which came from St. Louis that Wednesday, had made a stop in Albuquerque and was on its way to Phoenix with 47 people onboard when the collision happened. Crystal Booker, a spokesperson for the bus brand, said the company is cooperating with local authorities and also plans to conduct its own investigation.
This tragic crash happened by the Town of Thoreau in New Mexico. It caused the closure of the interstate’s westbound lanes and traffic back-ups as drivers were diverted. New Mexico State Police spokesman Officer Ray Wilson described the scene as “chaos” and added that the officers did an excellent job of working through rubble and wreckage to reach survivors on the bus.
Authorities have reported that more than 33 people in the accident were transported to area hospitals with injuries, and some of those people are in critical condition. Christopher Jones, formerly an EMT and firefighter, was at the accident site shortly after the crash. He said that the trailer of the truck was flipped upside down and the driver was sitting on the shoulder of the road. Jones grabbed his gloves and medical kit and began helping people. The former first responder described the site as one of the worst accidents he’s ever seen.
While it’s too early to know if this is a complete accident or not, it’s not uncommon for trucks to be on the road with poor or malfunctioning equipment such as worn tires. When a semi-truck is involved in an accident, it’s often catastrophic because of the sheer size and weight of those trucks. If you or a loved one have been injured in a truck accident, consider reaching out to an experienced trucking accident lawyer Denver, CO relies on to discuss your legal options.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into truck and bus accidents.