At Least 8 Dead After Semi-Truck Smashes Into Greyhound Bus

Authorities said the death toll will likely rise.

A semi-truck collided with a Greyhound bus in New Mexico Thursday, killing at least eight people and injuring dozens more.

New Mexico State Police believe the semi-truck’s tire blew while it was driving east on Interstate 40 and the massive vehicle glided across the median before smashing into the bus, which was carrying 49 passengers.

"We do expect that number to rise," New Mexico State Police Officer Ray Wilson said. “Dozens of passengers were seen trying to climb out of the windows of the bus while some bystanders walked among piles of debris carrying ladders.”

Most people on the bus, which was headed from St. Louis to Los Angeles, were transferred to local hospitals, authorities said. The driver of the semi-truck suffered non-life threatening injuries, reports said.

Photos from the crash site showed the front of the bus smashed in and debris strewn all over the road.

"It's by far one of the worst accidents I've encountered," witness Marc Gonzales told KRQE. "It was horrible."

The National Transportation Safety Board said it would send 10 investigators to the site. 

Greyhound also issued a statement in the aftermath of the tragedy.

"Our first priority is taking care of our passengers and their families as this incident has deeply impacted all involved," the company said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone as we continue to give our support to all affected.