New Mexico Bus Accident Attorney
Eight people died, and dozens more were left injured after a semi-truck in Northern New Mexico blew a tire, jumped a median and collided with a Greyhound bus loaded with passengers. The crash occurred near Thoreau, New Mexico on Interstate 40, near mile marker 50. The Greyhound bus was on its way to Phoenix with 49 passengers on board, after leaving Albuquerque.
Many of the passengers who survived the crash are said to be in critical condition. There were only six passengers on the Greyhound bus who were not transported to nearby hospitals, according to New Mexico State Police. One witness who passed the scene soon after the collision occurred said screaming passengers were trapped inside the bus, as rescuers attempted to get them out of the mangled bus through the bus windows. If you or a loved one have been effected by this terrible tragedy, it’s important to know that you have legal rights. Speak to a New Mexico bus accident attorney immediately to learn about the important steps you should take to help safeguard you and your family’s future.
Accident Results in a “Chaotic” Aftermath
Another person passing by the scene called it “chaotic,” with passengers attempting to climb out bus windows, rescuers helping passengers escape, and even bystanders using ladders from their trucks to help evacuate victims. Another passerby stopped to help the driver of the semi-truck, 35-year-old Elisara Taito. The driver told him he heard one of his front tires “pop,” after which his truck veered into oncoming traffic, colliding with the bus.
Thirty-seven of the injured Greyhound bus passengers were initially taken to the Gallup Indian Health Services hospital. Six of those thirty-seven had injuries which were too severe to be treated at the Gallup hospital, and were stabilized and air-lifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. At least three of those six are considered to be in critical condition.
The names of five of the eight deceased victims were released by the authorities on September 2nd: Charla Bale, age 34, Terry Mason, age 45, Veronica Jean Williams, age 49, Sadie Thomas, age 50, and Luis Alvarez, the driver of the Greyhound bus, age 50.
It was also released days after the accident that Taito, the driver of the tractor-trailer, has an extensive criminal record that included drug possession. Despite Taito’s claims of not being under the influence at the time of the crash, the existing criminal record will no doubt be cause for increased scrutiny from the investigators of the accident.
The collision shut down the westbound lanes on I-40 in the immediate area, and occurred little more than a month after a separate bus crash in the state, in which three passengers were killed and another 30 injured after the bus driver lost control and was sideswiped by a semi-truck on I-25.
Negligence and Legal Obligations
Devastating bus and commercial trucking accidents, such as this one, more often than not leave a wake of destruction, with families left in precarious situations, unsure of what their futures may hold, and survivors who may be facing expensive medical bills, and a lifetime of chronic disability and pain.
There can be many different causes for these types of accidents, and when these tragedies occur, it’s imperative that a full investigation is done to determine if they could have been avoided. If the accident was caused by the negligent actions of a driver, such as driving under the influence, or a trucking company not doing it’s due diligence to ensure the safety of their vehicles and drivers on the road, then there is a legal obligation to make whole what has been lost. An experienced bus accident law firm knows that time is of the essence in these situations, as key evidence can be lost or destroyed, and important facts can be overlooked or forgotten, and they will work quickly to defend the rights of their clients.
Contact an Experienced Bus Accident Attorney at the Gold Law Firm
Personal injury attorney, Greg Gold, is from a native New Mexico family that established a business in the 1800’s, at the last stop on the Santa Fe Trial. We here at the Gold Law Firm are deeply saddened to hear of this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
For decades, the accident attorneys at the Gold Law Firm have been working to protect injured bus passengers, and the victims of commercial trucking accidents. As a premier law firm, with multiple award winning verdicts to our name, including the largest premises liability verdict in the country, we have the experience and resources needed to tackle these large and complex cases. If you or a loved one have been injured in a bus accident, contact Gregory A. Gold of the Gold Law Firm today for a free consultation at (303) 694-4653. Our attorneys are available to meet with you within 24 hours at your home.