SUV in Crash Reportedly Entered US Through Hole in the Border Fence

Joanna Estrada
Марта 5, 2021

The 13 people killed in a crash between their SUV and a big rig in Southern California on Tuesday are suspected to have entered the U.S. illegally that morning, breaching a fence on the U.S. -Mexico border in a likely human smuggling attempt, according to Customs and Border Patrol.

Besides the dead and injured among 25 people crammed into the sport utility vehicle that collided on Tuesday with a tractor-trailer, 19 others were found huddled near a second SUV that caught fire in the same area just north of the border, the officials said.

Initial investigations "indicate a potential nexus to the aforementioned breach in the border wall", said El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino in a statement.

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

Border Patrol agents discovered the opening in the barrier at 6:05 a.m. Tuesday, then learned that the SUVs had entered the USA after reviewing surveillance video from the area, the Times reported.

Macario Mora, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said agents were not pursing the SUV at the time of the crash, which was initially rumored He said the immigration status of the passengers was unknown and being investigated.

He then said: "This was a major accident".

Ten of the dead were Mexican citizens, according to the Mexican government while the nationalities of the three others were not immediately clear, according to The Associated Press.

Two human smuggling vehicles appeared to have entered the United States through a breach in the border barrier near Holtville California
Ford Expedition Carrying 25 People Involved in T-Bone Crash With Semi

Guatemalan authorities said they had preliminary information that one Guatemalan died and another was injured in the crash. She thought about past farmworker transit accidents, where employers packed workers into unsafe vehicles.

Law enforcement officers sort evidence and debris at the scene of a deadly crash in California on Tuesday.

Exact details of the incident were still being unraveled Wednesday. The big rig was traveling north on State Highway 115 and the Ford was heading west on Norrish Road at the time of the crash, Watson said. The semi broadsided the smaller vehicle's left side and pushed it to the shoulder.

"Obviously that vehicle is not meant for that many people", Watson says. 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. The vehicle he drove, a 2011 Peterbilt semi, belonged to Havens and Sons Trucking Inc. of El Centro.

"It was a pretty chaotic scene", said Watson, who also described it as "a very sad situation".

Six patients were transferred to San Diego-area hospitals for treatment - four were airlifted to UC San Diego Medical Center and two were taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital. Others remain in serious condition with a variety of traumatic injuries.

The men and women in the SUV ranged in age from 15 to 53, and those who survived had injuries that were minor to severe, including fractures and head trauma, officials said.

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