Passengers have described chaotic and bloody scenes as a Greyhound bus crash involving multiple vehicles in Illinois left three dead and 14 injured.
Authorities say that the bus hit three semi-trucks that were parked in the off-ramp at a rest stop on the westbound I-70 in the early hours of Wednesday. The bus had been travelling from Indianapolis, Indiana, to St Louis, Missouri.
Edward Alexander, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, was asleep aboard the bus when the accident took place.
He told The St Louis Post-Dispatch that he was left with a bloodied nose when he was sent flying down the aisle of the bus. He then said he helped a pregnant woman, who was having trouble breathing, to escape the wreckage through a bus window.
“I thank God, for real,” Mr Alexander told the newspaper. “I really feel blessed. It could’ve been me.”
Mr Alexander said that he was searching for his phone when the bus filled with smoke and he also jumped out of it. He says that he has now lost all of his belongings but is happy to have survived the crash.
Edwin Brown, 22, of Friars Point, Mississippi, told the newspaper that he felt the bus hit 12 or 13 rumble strips on the side of the road before the crash happened.
“When I woke up, like, I flew forward,” Mr Brown said. “So then when I raised up, the side of the bus opened up like a can opener.”
No one in the other vehicles was injured in the incident which took place at around 2am in Madison County.
“Initial investigation indicates a Greyhound passenger bus with passengers was travelling westbound on Interstate 70 and struck three commercial motor vehicles parked on the exit ramp to the Silver Lake Interstate 70 westbound rest area,” Illinois State Police said in a statement.
“Three fatalities are confirmed and multiple others were taken to a hospital with serious injuries, four by helicopter and at least 10 by ambulance,” the statement added.
Truck driver David Cherno told KMOV that he was asleep when his truck was hit on the rear driver’s side and that he woke up “in the air.”
“I was sleeping, and I kind of woke up in the air, getting thrown around in there,” said Mr Cherno.
He said he then helped people get out of the bus before first responders arrived.
“We pulled the people out of the bus, and then the bus tires started to catch fire, so I ran and got my extinguisher,” added Mr Cherno.
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