Greyhound bus crash in western Oklahoma

Saturday, May 18th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CLINTON, Okla. (AP) _ A Greyhound bus crashed into an overturned truck on Interstate 40 early Friday, injuring 24 people, authorities said.

The bus driver, Rudy Gilbert Ortiz of Albuquerque, N.M., was trapped for more than an hour and taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Ortiz, 41, remained in critical condition late Friday, officials said.

All of the 23 passengers on the bus were hurt, but most injuries were minor, troopers said. One woman was admitted to a Clinton hospital.

``Everybody was screaming, 'Get out, gas, gas,''' said passenger Mike Crawford, who was riding from Fresno, Calif., to Philadelphia. ``Twenty-one people tried to get out the window.''

A westbound truck driver lost control near Weatherford and crossed the highway's median, said Highway Patrol Lt. Bruce Peoples. The truck turned on its side in the road's eastbound lanes.

Peoples said troopers were notified about the bus collision five minutes after they were called about the overturned truck.

The truck's two drivers, who were inside the vehicle when it was hit, weren't injured.

Peoples said troopers don't know the cause of the truck crash, but said rain and wind may have contributed. Peoples estimated winds at more than 30 mph.