EMERY COUNTY, Utah -- A newly released 911 tape from a fatal Greyhound bus crash on I-70 in Emery County New Year’s Eve details the chaotic moments after the bus launched off of a small bluff and into a ravine.
The crash killed 13-year old Summer Pinzon from Azusa, California. Pinzon had been traveling to California with her mother.
The Department of Public Safety said Wednesday they believe the driver of that bus suffered a medical issue or fatigue, causing the bus to veer off the right side of the westbound lanes about 50 miles west of Green River around 11 p.m.
“Help! Help! Please!” A woman is heard screaming on the phone, as she talks with an Emery County dispatcher.
The caller and her husband yelled out several times to vehicles passing by as they stood on the side of the highway in the pitch black.
“We don’t know where we are,” the woman tells dispatch. Her husband asks other passengers who were on the bus, “Does anybody know where we at?”
The woman told the dispatcher that she was asleep and the bus started to shake.
“The driver passed out and we went in a ditch,” she said.
The dispatcher spent several minutes trying to pinpoint the group’s location, as well as figure out how many people were on board.
“Has everyone survived?” The dispatcher asks.
“I don’t know," the caller answers.
At one point she says, “Please. Please, don’t let me die out here,” as she pleads for an ambulance to respond.
“There’s a lot of people here and my head is hurting so bad,” the woman says.
After spending 20 minutes trying to flag down passing vehicles, she reports that someone has pulled over.
“There’s a truck that stopped, and he said he’s going to help us,” she tells the dispatcher.
“Oh, thank you Jesus!” The woman’s husband exclaims. “Thank you Lord. Hallelujah!”
Several agencies responded to the crash.
The surviving 12 passengers and the driver were taken by ambulance and Life Flight helicopters to hospitals in Grand Junction, Colorado, Price, Richfield, Provo and Murray, Utah Highway Patrol said.
On Wednesday, the Department of Public Safety said that some passengers had been released from the hospital, but others remained with serious injuries. They said the Greyhound driver is hospitalized at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo and is unconscious in critical condition.