Families desperate to track down relatives involved in I-40 bus crash

New Mexico News

The dozens injured in the crash involving a Greyhound bus and a semi truck near Thoreau were taken to hospitals in Gallup, Grants and Albuquerque. 

Thursday night, some families are meeting at the McKinley County Emergency Administration Building and learning more on why it’s taking so long for them to get answers. 

Forty-eight people were on the bus, all of them except six were taken to hospitals. 

The county is trying to find which hospitals they were sent to, to pass that information along to families. 

A woman says she has spent hours just calling hospitals over and over again trying to find her mother. 

“The last time she messaged me was this morning around 6 or 7 to tell me she had stopped in Tucumcari,” she said. 

Sadie Thomas, who lives in Farmington, was making her way back to New Mexico on Greyhound bus 1333 after a trip to Oklahoma. 

She was texting her two daughters at each stop, but the texts stopped. 

“I’m still calling her phone in hopes of someone will pick up her phone,” she said. 

Val Thomas was desperately trying to get a hold of her mom because her sister was in labor. Then, she heard about the crash. 

“Fifty-year-old woman, reddish-brown hair…they don’t have anything,” Val Thomas said. 

She has called hospitals in Grants, Gallup, Farmington and Albuquerque where the injured were taken. 

“Very frustrating for the most part, because I really don’t know what’s going on, where she’s at, how she’s doing,” she said. 

Val Thomas lives in Texas. 

Local families are asked to come to the McKinley County Fire Administration Building, but it has still been tough finding out where the passengers are. 

State Police explained why: “At this time we don’t have information on specific injuries or passengers. As you can imagine, the scene down there is chaos so it’s going to take investigators a while to go through and see who was sitting where, who the driver is, who are the passengers,” Officer Ray Wilson said. 

“It’s just really, really hard. I haven’t told my kids anything. We really don’t know anything yet,” Val Thomas said. 

KRQE News 13 spoke with another woman who lives in Indiana. She says her two granddaughters were on the bus, heading back to California. 

News 13 heard back from her late Thursday night with some good news. She found both of them at a New Mexico hospital with minor injuries. 

OMI still needs to identify the people who were killed. 

Families are asked to call the McKinley County Emergency Management office at: 505-722-4246. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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