Multiple people dead after SUV, big rig collide in Imperial County

03 Mars, 2021, 18:43 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • At Least 13 Dead After SUV Packed With 25 Passengers Collides With Gravel-Filled Semitruck in California

It isn't clear where they were going.

"A lot of people in the vehicle didn't speak English", he said, adding that "we are close to the border so we have people that come back and forth on a daily basis for work".

'It would be premature of me to speculate on what happened at this collision.

Cruz said 11 injured people were taken to regional hospitals, including seven to El Centro and four who were airlifted to a larger hospital straight from the scene due to the severity of their injuries. A preliminary analysis of the incident conducted by the authorities indicated that the Ford pulled out in front of the big rig. The passengers of the SUV ranged in ages from 16-55.

It isn't yet known where all of the SUV passengers were from, as some didn't have identification, Watson said, though he did add that the driver was from the Mexican city of Mexicali.

Roberto Velasco, director of North American affairs for Mexico's Foreign Relations Department, confirmed Tuesday on his Twitter account that at least 10 of those killed have been identified as Mexicans. The 69-year-old driver of the big rig, who is from nearby El Centro, was hospitalized with moderate injuries. The trailers he was pulling were not loaded, Watson said.

Police received a call about the crash at about 6:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

The semi-truck was traveling at an unknown speed when it struck the left side of the SUV.

While the exact cause of the crash is under investigation, CHP officials said the big rig collided with the driver's side of the SUV at the intersection of SR-115 and Norrish Road.

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The Ford Expedition should only fit six people, Watson said. "The fire department had to cut the right front seat out of the vehicle to extricate people".

Authorities are working with the Mexican consulate to determine who was in the vehicle and to notify next of kin, Watson 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.

The SUV, a Ford Expedition, was carrying 25 people in total, including the driver, even though it is rated for a capacity of eight in total. They say 12 of those occupants died on scene.

Shortly before the Highway Patrol news conference, officials from the El Centro Regional Medical Center, which received numerous people injured in the crash, said that 28 people had been in the SUV. The hospital is transferring patients to other treatment centers as soon as they are stable, she said. One more person died after being taken to a hospital.

United States 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. If it had 25 people inside, that would easily exceed the payload limit, which taxes the brakes and makes it tougher to steer, said Frank Borris, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation.

'NTSB's investigator-in-charge expected to arrive Wednesday, will later be joined by two other investigators'.

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