‘They actually ran out of ambulances’ bystanders credited with saving lives in New Mexico bus crash

Posted at 8:09 PM, Sep 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-01 22:09:02-04
New Mexico bus crash
NBC News is reporting several people were killed in a bus crash near Thoreau, New Mexico on Aug. 30, 2018.

THOREAU, N.M. – Bystanders are credited with helping save lives moments after a Greyhound bus and a semi truck collided in western New Mexico.

On Saturday, New Mexico State Police called drivers who stopped to help “heroes.”

“We had a lot of people involved and we were going to and from hospitals by many different entities,” said Chief Pete Kassetas. “At one point they actually ran out of ambulances. Again, it’s rural New Mexico, so we had to do what we had to do. ”

Kassetas said people helped administer first aid and pulled people out of the wreckage, which helped get people the care they needed.

A federal investigation is now underway into the crash, which left eight dead and 33 more injured. Only15 people were not injured.

Authorities say the crash happened after the semi-trailer going in the opposite direction lost the tread on its left front tire and veered across a median and smashed into the bus.

Peter Kotowski of the National Transportation Safety Board said at a news conference Saturday that the agency has also asked for the medical records and toxicology reports about the driver of the semi-trailer owned by Jag Transportation of Fresno, California, and the bus. Kotowski says that is part of the agency’s standard procedure after such an accident.

He says the agency has talked to survivors of the crash and is seeking an interview with the driver of the semi-trailer.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)