At least seven people are dead and several others injured after a tractor-trailer plowed into a Greyhound bus head-on on I-40 in western New Mexico Thursday morning.
The deadly collision occurred in the westbound lanes of I-40 near the town of Thoreau, New Mexico, about 100 miles west of Albuquerque and near the Arizona border.
New Mexico authorities investigating the crash said that a tractor-trailer traveling eastbound crossed the median and collided with the bus head-on. They said it appears the driver of the tractor-trailer lost control of the vehicle after a tire blowout.
Aerial footage of the crash site shows the tractor-trailer on its side and its cargo – reportedly broccoli and cauliflower – spread across the median and highway. The front part of the bus is sheared off with debris scattered over the interstate.
Various reports say the Greyhound bus had departed St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday and was bound for Los Angeles via Phoenix. The bus last made a stop in Albuquerque before proceeding to Phoenix, where it was expected to arrive Thursday evening. The bus was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles Friday at 1 a.m.
According to a statement by Greyhound broadcast by Fox 11 News Los Angeles, the bus was carrying 49 passengers. Thirty-seven people were rushed to Gallup Indian Medical Center. Six of those patients were transferred to the University of New Mexico Hospital, the state’s only level-one trauma center, and three of those patients were in critical condition, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Local authorities closed off the westbound lanes of I-40 for several hours and traffic was diverted away from the crash site on alternate routes.