Ford Expedition Carrying 25 People Involved in T-Bone Crash With Semi

Yolanda Curtis
March 5, 2021

All passengers who escaped the vehicle were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents.

"It was an unusual number of people in an SUV, but we don't know who they were", said Macario Mora, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Yuma and El Centro, who speculated that they could have been farm workers.

A Ford Expedition typically seats eight people legally.

Twelve people, including the SUV driver, died at the scene, and another person from the SUV died at a hospital, the highway patrol said.

The second was a maroon Ford Expedition carrying 25 passengers that drove into the path of a large truck on State Road 115 on Tuesday.

Roberto Velasco, director of North American affairs for Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, confirmed via his Twitter account that at least 10 of those killed have been identified as Mexicans.

According to the AP, the hole in the border fence is a popular area for illegal crossings from Mexico to the US, particularly this time of year, which is the "height of the harvest in the agricultural region that provides much of the lettuce, onions, broccoli, and winter vegetables to USA supermarkets". Such was the impact of the collision that the Ford Expedition SUV was left shockingly disfigured and as many as 13 people lost their lives.

Neither SUV was being pursued by Border Patrol personnel at the time of their accidents, the agency's release said. Watson added that the cause of the crash was not known. The video has not been publicly released because it's part of an ongoing investigation.

The Expedition had all but the front two seats removed to enable 25 people to be packed inside the seven-passenger SUV.

The crash happened in an area that became a major route for illegal border crossings in the late 1990s after heightened enforcement in San Diego pushed migrants to more remote areas. Hundreds of migrants who died after crossing the border are buried in unmarked graves in Holtville's cemetery on the edge of town.

"I was trying to figure out how to stop the deaths", said Hunter, whose brother Duncan strongly advocated for border wall construction as a congressman. Some suffered life-threatening head injuries, chest injuries and fractures, officials at El Centro Regional Medical Center said Tuesday. The driver was a 22-year-old man from Mexicali, a city just over the Mexico border.

Guatemalan authorities said they had preliminary information that one Guatemalan national died and another was injured in the crash.

The crash occurred around 6:15 am at an intersection just outside Holtville, which dubs itself the world's carrot capital and is about 11 miles (18 kilometers) north of the US-Mexico border. The 69-year-old driver of the big rig, who is from nearby El Centro, was hospitalized with moderate injuries.

Both vehicles came to a halt on a dirt shoulder.

"It's unknown whether or not the [Ford Expedition] stopped at the stop sign, but it did enter the intersection in front of the big rig".

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