Videos released Wednesday show panic and chaos inside a passenger bus as it rolls over and is hit by a tractor-trailer in a deadly chain-reaction wreck near Bernalillo last month.
Three people were killed and 31 hospitalized in the five-vehicle crash, according to the Sandoval County Sheriff’s Office.
The three clips, provided to SCSO by the El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express Inc., show simultaneous interior and exterior feeds recorded on the bus, which had been scheduled to make a stop in Albuquerque as it traveled from Denver to El Paso.
The bus was traveling 77 and 76 mph in the moments before it came upon, and hit, a passenger car sitting disabled in the middle of Interstate 25 the morning of July 15.
The driver screams as she swerves and steers frantically.
A second video shows passengers’ belongings flying through the bus as the horizon line shifts in the exterior feed.
“You did great,” a man says as he comforts the driver at the beginning of the third video.
“I’m so sorry, guys,” she says, crying.
“You did a good job, you did a good job, I want you to – ” the man tells her.
He is cut off as a tractor-trailer hits the bus. A speedometer in the corner of the screen shows the impact sent the bus sliding at speeds reaching 12 mph.
Authorities said July 20 that the series of wrecks began when a southbound Honda rear-ended a Toyota pickup, disabling the car in the roadway. Moments later, the bus hit the car, sending the bus sliding on its side into northbound lanes, where it was hit by an Acura SUV. Shortly after that, a northbound tractor-trailer hit the bus before driving over the median, across southbound lanes and a nearby frontage road, finally coming to a stop at the bottom of a nearby embankment.
Maria Delosangeles Almanza, 65, Olga Hernandes de Grajeda, 58, and Maria Doleres Orrantia Camacho, 70, were killed.
SCSO said July 20 that a final report would take at least eight weeks to complete. That report will be forwarded to the 13th Judicial District Attorney’s Office for review.