At least 13 dead in California crash involving truck

Ross Houston
March 3, 2021

It isn't clear where they were going.

According to Watson, the accident occurred when the SUV entered an intersection in front of the semi-truck, although it was not known whether the smaller vehicle had stopped at the stop sign.

California Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and says 25 people were inside the Ford Expedition at the time of the accident.

CHP said that border patrol was assisting with the investigation into the crash, mostly providing translation services. The rig's front end was pushed into the SUV's left side and two empty trailers were jackknifed behind it.

Passengers in the SUV ranged in age from 15 to 53 and were a mix of men and women, officials said.

DailyMail reported that officials believed the victims involved in the incident were undocumented immigrants.

Thousands of people cross into the US each day to work in the fields. CHP is also working with the Mexican Consulate to help identify victims and reach family members.

The driver of the truck has moderate injuries.

"It's a very sad situation", Watson said.

The crash occurred around 6:15 a.m. under a clear, sunny sky at an intersection just outside Holtville, about 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of the border.

Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest border crashes on record were among more than 40 migrants who entered the USA through a hole cut into Southern California's border fence with Mexico, the Border Patrol said Wednesday.

Images from the scene show the front of a truck wedged into the driver's door and rear passenger doors of a maroon Ford SUV on the side of the road. The investigation's initial focus will be centered around why so many people were in the 1997 Ford Expedition when it collided.

"You're going to have extended stopping distances, delayed reactions to steering inputs and potential over-reaction to any type of high-speed lane change", said Frank Borris, former head of the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation.

"We're not sure exactly what caused the collision", he said.

Separately, a series of harrowing collisions involving vehicles carrying farmworkers en route to the state's Central Valley agricultural region led to the passage of legislation requiring vans and buses carrying nine or more workers to have seat belts and undergo annual safety certification, the newspaper said.

Judy Cruz, managing director of the emergency department at El Centro Regional Medical Center, told reporters 15 people had died, at least 14 of them pronounced dead at the scene. UC San Diego Health said it received three patients transferred from ECRMC via air ambulance.

The official added that the victims, including those who were transferred out of El Centro Regional Medical Center, are in stable condition.

One other person from the SUV was transported to the hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

USA authorities are now working with the Mexican Consulate to determine who was in the SUV and notify their next of kin.

The Imperial County Fire Department and California Highway Patrol did not immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News.

The crash occurred during the height of harvest in California's Imperial Valley, which provides much of the lettuce, onions, broccoli and winter vegetables to USA supermarkets.

"In the SUV we had 12 fatalities on scene", stated Border Division Chief Omar Watson.

Other reports by iNewsToday