Bus passenger describes terror during Thanksgiving crash in Walsenburg

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PUEBLO, Colo. — A Los Paisanos charter bus carrying 50 people crashed on a slick highway on interstate 25 near Walsenburg, Thanksgiving morning.

The Colorado State Patrol said there were no fatalities when the crash happened on Interstate 25 near milepost 44.8 around sunrise about 4 miles south of Walsenburg, which is about 90 miles south of Colorado Springs.

The bus was traveling to Denver from El Paso, Texas.

Translators were used at the scene of the crash because the majority of the passengers are Hispanic.

Many people still remain in multiple hospitals. According to CSP investigators, some of the injuries are life-threatening.

Of the 49 people on board, 16 people were treated at Parkview Hospital and four still remain there including a man’s wife that he spoke exclusively to FOX21 about his experience.

“I was sleeping, I heard screaming, lots of banging,” 74-year-old Ramiro recalled of the bus crash.

Ramiro didn’t want to give his last name but said his left side is bruised, clothes ripped apart after dragging himself out of the bus.

Ramiro’s wife suffered seven broken ribs and has a six-month recovery ahead. Ramiro and his wife were returning from visiting family in Mexico.

While Ramiro was unable to find his wife, other family members contacted her on her cellphone.

“I feel grateful that I am alive.. but it was a heavy setback,” Ramiro said. “God is with us, first him and luck nothing happened, but it was bad.”

According to Ramiro’s family, members of the Mexican Consulate met with victims.

Jonathon, Ramiro’s grandson was waiting for his grandparents in Denver and became worried that they didn’t show up. Jonathon said a spokesperson representing Los Paisanos told them the company would pay for medical expenses and more.

“They explained the bus company will pay for everything and being a little attentive now,” Jonathon said. “When we first got to the bus station, they didn’t inform us immediately or tell us what clinic to go to.”

Ramiro said his wife could be released from the hospital on Saturday morning.

Courtesy of Colorado State Patrol

The Texas-based company has been flagged for problems with the number of hours it’s drivers spend behind the wheel and speeding drivers.

The driver of the charter bus was 53-year-old Alberto Torres and he is being charged with careless driving causing bodily injury.

Los Paisanos would not give FOX21 a comment about the bus crash.

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