Three people are dead and dozens more are injured after a string of crashes that involved a commercial passenger bus rolling over on I-25.
It happened just north of Bernalillo a little after 2 a.m. Sunday, just 10 miles north of Albuquerque near the Highway 550 exit.
The chain of events started when a car rear-ended a pick-up truck.
“…causing the pick-up truck to cross the barrier cable in the median of the Interstate, coming to a stop facing North on I-25,” says Lt. Keith Elder of the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office. “The car came to a rest in the left traffic lane of I-25.”
The driver of the car was ejected from the vehicle.
The Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office says the car had no lights on and was not visible sitting in the left lane of the Interstate.
That’s when a commercial passenger bus traveling southbound on I-25 rolled up on the crash.
The bus driver tried to avoid hitting the car and ejected driver, but lost control, rolling the bus on its side and crossing the Interstate.
Then, a semi traveling northbound tried to avoid the rolled bus, sideswiping it in the process and also losing control.
“This is definitely one of the worst accidents I’ve seen in my career. A lot of agencies involved, a lot of patients, a lot of critical patients” says Chief James Maxon of the Sandoval County Fire Department.
One of the three people killed in the crashes was the ejected driver of the car. The relation the other two people had to the crash was not made public as of Sunday night. No identities of those involved have been released, either.
According to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office, 24 people were taken to multiple hospitals. Four people are in critical condition and six have been released.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office says the bus was run by El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express.
Jerry Rosenbaum, president of the company, says there were 32 passengers and 2 drivers on the bus.
He says the bus was en route from Denver, Colorado to El Paso, Texas.
Rosenbaum says the uninjured passengers were taken to a Red Cross shelter before being put on another bus to El Paso.