Truck in deadly New Mexico crash owned by Fresno company, police say

News

The investigation into a deadly crash in New Mexico continued Friday.

A bus and big rig collided around 12:30 p.m. Thursday, killing eight people. New Mexico State Police said one of the vehicles involved has a Fresno connection. 

“The tractor trailer, the company is Jag Transportation out of Fresno, California,” Pete Kassetas, New Mexico State Police Chief said. 

Police said the semi blew a tire and crossed into oncoming traffic, slamming into the bus which was carrying nearly 50 passengers.

According to CBS News the driver is Elisara Taito.

Taito said he saw the bus and knew what was going to happen. “I saw it as soon as it locked up. I saw where I was going right away. So I was trying everything I could to avoid it,” he said. 

Police did not identify Taito by name, because he is not currently facing any charges, but said he is 35-years-old and based in California. He suffered non-life threatening injuries.

“I was in the cab. The seat belt saved my life,” Taito said. 

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation. Right now they’re gathering and looking over the semi’s electronic log books. 

“(It’s) kind of like a flight recorder for a plane, same kind of concept in these commercial vehicles. They’re going to have to go through those so that’ll tell them a lot of the information that we’re all lacking,” Kassetas said.

According to court documents, two people are now suing Jag Transportation along with the truck driver, alleging negligence.
 

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