HOLTVILLE, Calif. – A minimum of 13 folks died after an SUV filled with dozens of passengers collided with a semitruck close to the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday, in line with California Freeway Patrol officers.
Employees with El Centro Regional Medical Heart beforehand stated 15 folks died and that 27 have been within the SUV.
California Freeway Patrol Division Chief Omar Watson stated the crash concerned a giant rig hauling two trailers and a Ford Expedition carrying 25 folks. The automobiles collided earlier than 6:15 a.m. PT on the intersection of State Route 115 and Norrish Highway close to Holtville, about 50 miles west of Arizona and 10 miles north of the border.
It was not clear whether or not the SUV stopped on the intersection’s cease signal, Omar stated, but it surely in the end entered the intersection in entrance of the massive rig, which struck the SUV on the left facet.
“It might be untimely for me to take a position or focus on what brought on this collision. What we now have to remember is that 13 folks died on this crash,” Omar stated, including, “It’s a really unhappy state of affairs.”
Twelve folks died on the scene, together with the SUV driver, and one died on the hospital, Omar stated. There have been youngsters within the SUV, however none of them died, he stated. The ages of the folks injured ranged from 16 to 55, and the ages of the individuals who died ranged from 20 to 55, Omar stated.
A number of folks have been thrown from the SUV, and others “have been capable of pull themselves out of the automobiles,” Omar stated. The older-model Ford Expedition ought to solely match six folks, he stated.
“Clearly that car shouldn’t be meant for that many individuals. It’s unlucky that that variety of folks have been put into that car,” Omar stated.
Seven sufferers have been taken to El Centro Regional Medical Heart, the place one individual died, El Centro Regional Medical Heart emergency room managing director Judy Cruz stated in a Fb Stay video earlier Tuesday. The hospital referred to as for air assist from different businesses to move three of the sufferers to different amenities, she stated.
Two sufferers have been taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, California, Cruz stated.
4 sufferers have been airlifted to the trauma heart at Desert Regional Medical Heart in Palm Springs, California, hospital spokesperson Todd Burke stated. Three have been in intensive care.
The driving force of the massive rig sustained reasonable accidents and was among the many sufferers taken to Desert Regional Medical Heart, Omar stated. Authorities had recognized the driving force, Omar stated.
“The sufferers are after all going via somewhat little bit of a troublesome time as you may think about,” stated Dr. Adolphe Edward, chief government officer at El Centro Regional Medical Heart. “It is a main accident. We’re taking good care of them within the emergency room division.”
Omar stated the California Freeway Patrol was working with the Mexican consulateto “decide who precisely was within the car.”
The freeway is a well-traveled street, and it was anticipated to be closed all day, Omar stated.The wreckage was at an intersection inside a principally undeveloped space of farmland, and residents from close communities ventured to the location Tuesday afternoon.
Archival imagery from Google Maps exhibits a cross on the identical intersection. A minimum of two different deadly accidents have occurred on the identical location, in line with UC Berkeley’s Transportation Damage Mapping System.
Customs and Border Safety was on the scene to “assist” the Imperial County Sheriff’s Workplace and was not concerned within the incident, spokesperson Macario Mora instructed USA TODAY.
“This was not a border patrol pursuit,” Omar stated.
Contributing: Emily LeCoz and Janet Loehrke, USA TODAY
Colin Atagi reported from Holtville for The Desert Solar. Grace Hauck reported from Chicago for USA TODAY.