A Greyhound bus with an ultimate destination of downtown Los Angeles was struck by a big rig on Interstate 40 in New Mexico Thursday, killing at least four people and leaving a number of others with serious injuries.
The crash occurred near Thoreau, New Mexico, near the Arizona border. New Mexico State Police said there were 48 people aboard the bus and one person — the driver — in the big rig when the crash occurred around midday.
Police said late Thursday afternoon that four people had died, but investigators expected the number of fatalities to rise. All but six people involved in the crash were taken to hospitals, many of those with injuries described as serious by the state police agency, which reported that preliminary crash information indicates the semi-tractor-trailer was eastbound on I-40 when it “had a tire blowout and crossed into oncoming (westbound) traffic, colliding with a Greyhound bus.”
A witness told ABC News that he spoke to the driver of the big rig, which wound up overturned alongside the freeway. The driver said a front tire had fallen off the eastbound truck, causing it to veer across the grass median and into oncoming traffic, where it struck the westbound bus, the witness said.
According to Greyhound’s website, bus #1333 left St. Louis from Wednesday morning. It was scheduled to arrive in Phoenix Thursday afternoon. The bus had an ultimate destination of Los Angeles, where it was expected to arrive about 1 a.m. Friday.
The McKinley County Emergency Management department set up a hotline — (505) 722-2002 — for family members of passengers looking for information on their relatives.
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