Imperial City, CA – Police in Imperial City and the California Highway Patrol have confirmed 13 people have been killed after their overloaded SUV crashed into a sem-tractor-trailer carrying gravel.
The vehicle, rated for just 8 passengers was carrying 27 passengers near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The crash happened around 6:15 am. near the town of Holtville. Officials did not say whether or not the passengers in the vehicle were U.S. citizens or not, but confirmed victims were ages 16 to 55. The crash occurred about 12 miles north of the border.
The Ford Expedition appears to have gone through a stop sign as the tractor-trailer driving north on Highway 115 struck it in the middle of the intersection. The driver was treated for his injuries.
12 occupants died at the scene and one survivor died at the hospital. The U.S. Border Patrol also assisted in the rescue and recovery after the crash. Authorities said the event was not related to a border patrol pursuit.
Numerous people were ejected onto the roadway during the collision. Authorities are working with the Mexican consulate to identify the victims. Border Patrol Agents are assisting local authorities with Spanish to English translations at the scene.