At least 7 dead after grisly bus crash in New Mexico, police say

THOREAU, N.M. —  New Mexico state police said the death toll had increased to seven in a fatal crash Thursday involving a Greyhound bus and a tractor trailer. The accident occured along Interstate 40 in New Mexico, near the Arizona border.

Investigators believe the tractor trailer crossed the median and hit the bus head on. The front end of the bus was ripped off and debris scattered across the highway as emergency crews desperately tried to reach victims.

The bus was carrying 49 passengers and heading to Phoenix, Arizona. Many of the seriously injured people were taken to an area hospital. One trauma center reported getting six patients, with three in critical condition.

"We are fully cooperating with local authorities and will also complete an investigation of our own," Greyhound spokeswoman Crystal Booker said in a statement.

The crash occurred near the town of Thoreau. It forced the closure of the westbound lanes of the interstate and traffic was backing up as travelers were diverted.

Mireya Villarreal contributed to this report.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

We and our partners use cookies to understand how you use our site, improve your experience and serve you personalized content and advertising. Read about how we use cookies in our cookie policy and how you can control them by clicking Manage Settings. By continuing to use this site, you accept these cookies.