A survivor of the deadly Greyhound bus crash that killed eight and left more than 40 injured has spoken out about the terrifying moment a semi-truck collided with their bus,
Rachel Cunningham had been asleep on the Greyhound, which was carrying 49 passengers, when the trailer blew a tire on the Interstate 40 in New Mexico, and crashed into the bus.
‘It was horrifying. Like, I’ve never actually seen in my life a bus look like a ripped open sardine can,’ Cunningham told CBS News, explaining that the crash had left a gaping hole in the side of the bus.
‘I was literally carrying these people with the paramedics into ambulances,’ Cunningham added.
Rachel Cunningham had been asleep on the Greyhound, which was carrying 49 passengers, when the trailer blew a tire on the Interstate 40 in New Mexico, and crashed into the bus
The Greyhound bus and semi-truck crash near Thoreau, New Mexico has resulted in at least eight deaths
The vehicles collided after the semi-truck blew a tire, smashing into the front of the bus
The catastrophic collision left debris scattered across the interstate, ripping the semi-trailer open and the truck’s cab upside down
‘My experience of what I’ve seen today, I mean, some stuff that I’ve only thought I’d end up seeing on TV.’
The initial death toll was seven but one of the 40 passengers injured in the crash died overnight at University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque on Thursday.
The National Transportation Safety Board sent a team on Friday to investigate the crash.
‘Our sympathies are with the families whose loved ones were involved in this crash,’ the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator said. ‘Our commitment to investigate deaths to serve the living will drive our efforts to bring some closure and peace to these families, as well as to support public safety efforts.’
The catastrophic collision left debris scattered across the interstate, ripping the semi-trailer open and the truck’s cab upside down.
‘There was one person hanging out the window. Oh god,’ one witness said.
A passerby who stopped to help described the chaos.
‘There weren’t enough ambulances there to get everybody out. … There’s people that were stuck in the bus trying to get out, screams from inside there.
A passenger bus and a semi-truck collided in McKinley County on Thursday, killing at least seven people and seriously injuring many others, the New Mexico State Police department said
All but six of those on the bus were taken to nearby hospitals, police officer Ray Wilson told a news conference, adding that their injuries were minor and treated at the site.
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.
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
‘The exact number of injuries is still being investigated,’ NMSPD said at 5.30pm MDT; At least 33 have been taken to hospitals
Debris from the semi-truck’s cargo can be seen covering the area surrounding both vehicles, which were ripped to pieced
The bus incurred significant front-end damage, with photos from the scene showing the semi-truck overturned on its side
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.
‘The exact number of injuries is still being investigated,’ NMSPD said at 5.30pm MDT, adding, ‘This scene remains active.’
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.
Three of the six taken to UNMH were in critical condition but the condition of the rest had not been released, spokesperson Cindy Foster said.
The cabin of the semi-truck was ripped in pieces, laying beside the bus it crashed into, after it crossed over the median
‘Preliminary crash information indicates a semi-tractor-trailer traveling on I-40 [eastbound] had a tire blowout and crossed into oncoming [westbound] traffic, colliding with a Greyhound bus,’ the NMSPD said
The New Mexico State Police department confirmed there were multiple deaths
Photos from the scene show the semi-truck overturned on its side, with debris from its cargo covering the area surrounding both vehicles
The crash shut down the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 near Thoreau near mile marker 50
Another vehicle that was involved in the crash is shown here, smashed in from front to rear
The bus incurred significant front-end damage, with photos from the scene showing the semi-truck overturned on its side and debris from its cargo covering the area surrounding both vehicles.
The crash shut down the westbound lanes of Interstate 40 near Thoreau near mile marker 50, police said.
The highway has since reopened, with both eastbound lanes clear and at least one westbound open.
‘We are fully cooperating with local authorities and will also complete an investigation of our own,’ Greyhound spokesperson Crystal Booker said
The crash was reported at around 1.00pm MDT, according to KOB4.
‘We are fully cooperating with local authorities and will also complete an investigation of our own,’ Booker said.
The National Transportation Safety Board arrived on scene after emergency responders, and will be conducting an investigation along with the New Mexico State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit, police said.
State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau officers are conducting an investigation and inspection of the semi-truck.
Family members of passengers looking for information on their relatives can call 505-722-4246.
Media have been asked not to call this number so that families can get the information they need.
The bus was heading from Albuquerque to Phoenix and there were 49 passengers on board