Multiple killed in bus crash involving semi on I-40 near Thoreau

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GRANTS, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police say there are multiple people dead after a crash involving a Greyhound bus and semi-truck.

It happened on I-40 in between Gallup and Grants, near Thoreau just after noon on Thursday.

Westbound I-40 is closed near Thoreau and causing major traffic delays. Traffic is being diverted onto the frontage road in Thoreau.

State Police have not released how many people are dead, but witnesses say it was catastrophic. 

“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,” said a witness. “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.”

It is unclear what caused the crash.

Photos submitted to KRQE show a semi on its side. Witnesses say the entire front part of the bus was gone and that the tractor-trailer detached from the cab. 

They say it’s clear the semi crossed through the median and hit the bus head-on in the westbound lanes.  

Witnesses also say it took a while for first responders to get people out of the bus. Bystanders were shading children with blankets after they were pulled out. 

Hospitals in Gallup and Grants have been taking patients. San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington and UNM Hospital, which are trauma centers have sent their helicopters.

UNMH says they have six patients coming, three of them are critical. 

McKinley County Emergency Management has established the following number for family members of passengers looking for information on their relatives: 505-722-2002

This is not the first deadly bus vs semi crash in New Mexico. In July the driver of a passenger bus tried to avoid a crash along I-25 near Bernalillo, but lost control and rolled. It then was plowed by a semi. Three passengers were killed in that crash. 

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