The death toll in Thursday’s Greyhound bus crash in New Mexico continues to climb, as authorities fear that number could still rise.
The bus, heading westbound on I-40 Thursday afternoon, was carrying 49 passengers when a semi-truck heading east on the opposite side of the interstate blew a tire and crossed the median into its path. The vehicles collided head on, totally destroying the front of the bus.
43 of the 49 passengers on the bus were taken to local hospitals, and seven of those individuals have died. The driver of the semi-truck suffered minor injuries and did not require hospitalization. Dozens more suffered serious injuries, and some of those are in critical condition.
Passengers were trapped on board the bus, screaming as rescuers tried to get them out through windows, according to one witness who passed by the scene.
‘It was horrible, there was people trying to climb out of the windows of the bus… bystanders trying to help people getting ladders out of their truck to get to windows of Greyhound bus to assist,’ a witness told KRQE.
‘When we went by the overturned semi, everything in the trailer was out on the road. It was a disaster…you could tell people were in distress, screams were coming from bus.’
Another motorist described the scene of the deadly bus crash as chaotic, with people screaming and passengers on the ground.
Chris Jones said in a phone interview that he was headed west on Interstate 40 near the Arizona state line when he saw the semi-truck on its side.
Jones says he stopped to help and talked to the driver who told him that one of his front tires had popped, forcing the truck to veer into oncoming traffic, where it struck the bus.
This video from CBS shows the devastation at the crash site.
The bus was heading from Albuquerque to Phoenix and there were 49 passengers on board, Greyhound spokesperson Crystal Booker said.
It’s not clear at this time whether that number includes the driver of the bus.
Gallup Indian Health Services received 37 of the injured, Jennifer Buschick, a spokesperson for the Gallup hospital said.
Six people with injuries too severe to be treated there were stabilized and taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.
This is a developing story.