California crash kills at least 13; multiple people hospitalized

03 Mars, 2021, 08:31 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • In this image from KYMA law enforcement work at the scene of a deadly crash involving a semitruck and an SUV in Holtville Calif. on Tuesday

At least 15 people have been killed in Southern California after an SUV believed to be carrying 27 people crashed into a semitruck.

The SUV involved in the accident was a Ford Expedition, which would have a legal capacity of about eight people, police told U.S. media.

In a statement, UC San Diego Health said they have received three patients from El Centro Regional Medical Center.

The Ford Expedition should only fit six people, Watson said. Local hospital officials initially said 15 people died from the crash, but the California Highway Patrol later lowered the figure. One person died at the hospital, Cruz said.

"The patients are, of course, going through a little bit of a hard time, as you can imagine", said Dr Adolphe Edward, the El Centro hospital's chief executive officer. "This was a major accident and we are taking care of them in the emergency room department".

"Obviously, that vehicle is not meant for that many people", Watson said.

Several of the passengers were ejected onto the roadway in the collision, CHP officials said.

"Several patients did get transferred out those were the most critically ill, the ones that were flown from the scene", the offical said.

The truck struck the left side of the SUV, which appeared to have been pushed off the road. "We owe it to the families of those that were killed, as well as the public, to conduct a complete and thorough investigation to determine exactly what happened".

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Fifteen first responders and five fire engines arrived at the scene just north of Holtville, Flores said.

The bad collision took place Tuesday morning north of the city of Holtville, according to the Imperial County Fire Department.

Highway 115 is now blocked heading north from Holtville, Flores said.

"It's a very sad situation", Watson said. The other occupants of the Ford Expedition who survived were being treated at nearby medical facilities.

Imperial County is in southeastern California, sitting along the state's borders with Mexico and Arizona. Platero said, "There was not a pursuit".

Despite the presence of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and Spanish translators, Watson did not address whether the SUV's occupants were migrant workers or others who might have crossed from Mexico in an overcrowded vehicle. Of those, one in three ended in a crash. In agricultural areas of California, such as Imperial County and the Central Valley, there also have been concerns about deaths involving farmworkers packed into vehicles. The laws also stepped up penalties and education programs for growers.

"CBP personnel were not involved in the accident", Mora said.

Officers at the scene say the do not know the rate of speed of either vehicle at the time of the crash, and they are investigating what caused the accident.

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

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