On Aug. 30, 2018, a Greyhound bus carrying 49 passengers crashed on Interstate 40 near Thoreau, New Mexico, causing multiple casualties and severe injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) dispatched a Go-Team to northern New Mexico to investigate the incident.
The Greyhound bus crash occurred outside the small town of Thoreau, which is a little over 50 miles away from the Arizona border. According to local law enforcement officials, the bus was transporting 49 passengers when it collided with a semi-truck shortly before 1:00 p.m. local time.
Investigators said the semi-truck blew a tire and crossed the median before colliding head-on with the Greyhound bus. The truck, which belonged to Jag Transportation Inc. based in Fresno, California, was going from California to Tennessee.
Video footage taken shortly after the fatal accident shows the front of the bus completely sheared off, with scattered debris in the grassy median separating westbound and eastbound lanes. The semi-truck overturned in the crash and came to rest on its side, blocking westbound lanes of traffic.
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Victims of NM Bus Accident
Gallup Indian Medical Center took in approximately 37 patients following the accident. The University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque took in six patients, three of whom were listed in critical condition. Other hospitals that received crash victims were Cibola General Hospital and Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital. According to law enforcement officials, the truck driver did not suffer life-threatening injuries in the accident.
Crystal Booker, a spokeswoman for Greyhound said the bus was transporting passengers from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Phoenix, Arizona. The bus initially departed from St. Louis, Missouri on Aug. 29 and was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles, California on Aug. 31. Booker told the media that the company is cooperating with local authorities in the investigation, and that Greyhound will also perform its own investigation.
What Caused the New Mexico Greyhound Bus Crash?
The NTSB launched a Go-Team to investigate the accident. NTSB investigations begin with officials gathering evidence, interviewing the drivers and other witnesses.
The agency usually issues a preliminary report within a month of the accident. A final report, in which NTSB discusses who or what is at fault for the accident, is not expected to be released for months, if not a year or more, from the date of the crash.
In head-on bus collisions, investigators focus their attention on the drivers of both vehicles to see if driver error was a factor. Driver error can include anything from speeding to fatigue to external distractions, like cell phones.
Officials will also look to see if anything was mechanically wrong with either vehicle. Common mechanical issues that factor into accidents include break issues, tire issues, or cargo shifts. According to the New Mexico State Police, the semi-truck blew a tire prior before the collision.
New Mexico Greyhound Bus Crash Updates
The latest reporting from the accident between a Greyhound bus and a tractor trailer outside of Thoreau, New Mexico.
NTSB Issues Preliminary Report on New Mexico Bus Crash | Oct. 18, 2018
The NTSB issued its preliminary report concerning the New Mexico bus crash and noted that none of the vehicles involved in the crash had mechanical defects. Furthermore, neither driver involved had consumed drugs or alcohol before the crash.
Without finding mechanical defects, however, the NTSB sent a tire from the truck to its materials laboratory for more testing. In its report, investigators noted the left front tire suddenly experienced air loss, causing the driver to lose control, cross the median, and collide with the bus. All seats on the bus had seatbelts but the agency did not note how many passengers used them.
The agency is also examining truck maintenance records, and both drivers’ qualifications, training, and medical records. The investigation is ongoing.
Last Three NM Bus Crash Fatalities Identified | Sept. 5, 2018
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator identified the final three deceased victims from last week’s catastrophic crash between a tractor trailer and a Greyhound bus. Emmett Stoker, 66, and Raymon Michael Albrecht, 27, died in the accident. The last victim has been identified but authorities are withholding a name until next of kin has been notified.
NM Greyhound Victim Describes Harrowing Experience | Sept. 4, 2018
Josh Jones did not think the crash that killed eight people and injured dozens of others would still bother him days later, but it does. Jones was one of the lucky ones. When the accident happened, he was thrown over the seat in front of him. He was taken to the hospital, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
Nevertheless, the harrowing experience is something he will not soon forget. “I wake up in the middle of the night hearing that screeching in the tires. I hear the screams,” Jones told an ABC affiliate in Arizona. “Great people…the people I met on the bus that are dead now. It’s just sad,” he said as he fought back tears.
According to Jones, all of his possessions remain on the bus, including $1,200, his phone and his ID. He also noted that other passengers he has spoken with are angry with Greyhound. He claims Greyhound told a surviving passenger they would be provided a meal in Phoenix and an Uber ride to their residence, which he said never happened. He added that crash victims from California were forced to ride on another regularly scheduled Greyhound to Los Angeles rather than being taken home on a private bus.
Five of Eight Greyhound Crash Victims Identified | Sept. 2, 2018
Authorities released the names of five deceased victims from the accident near Thoreau, New Mexico involving an 18-wheeler and a Greyhound bus. The crash killed eight people and left dozens of other bus passengers with injuries.
The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator identified five victims as Charla Bahe, 34; Terry Mason, 45; Veronica Williams, 49; Sadie Thomas, 50; and Greyhound bus driver Luis Alvarez, 50. The office did not release their hometowns.
Investigators Intensifying Examination of Semi-Truck’s Blown Tire | Sept. 1, 2018
Officials from the NTSB said tires from the tractor trailer that crossed over the median of Interstate 40 in northern New Mexico and collided with a Greyhound bus this week will be sent to Washington D.C. for further analysis.
The accident killed eight people and left dozens of others with injuries. Authorities have indicated the semi-truck lost the tread on its left front tire, which caused the tire to fail and the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The trucker, Elisara Taito, was hauling produce from California to Tennessee when his truck blew a tire. “Then it just locked up,” Taito said of the rig.
Taito said he tried everything he could to avoid a collision with the oncoming bus. “I almost just knew that I was going to die. I was surprised that I made it,” he said.
The NTSB has asked for medical records and toxicology reports for the drivers of both the truck and the bus. Electronic data recorders for both vehicles have also been recovered.
At Least 8 Dead, Other Victims Facing Long Road to Recovery | Aug. 31, 2018
As of 1:00 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31, the death toll from the bus crash near Thoreau is eight. Officials said seven bodies were recovered at the scene of the collision, and a victim who was taken to a hospital for treatment passed away.
A spokesperson from University of New Mexico Hospital said three children were among the patients they received following the accident. Two are currently being treated in the hospital’s neonatal unit.
Of the 10 patients still receiving treatment at University of New Mexico Hospital, one adult is listed in critical condition and two others are in intensive care. Doctors said the injuries suffered by crash victims included spine fractures, traumatic brain injuries and broken bones. Some patients will need to undergo surgery.