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At Least 13 Killed In California Crash Near US-Mexico Border

At Least 13 Killed In California Crash Near US-Mexico Border

A total of 25 occupants, including the driver, were traveling in the SUV at the time of the crash

Los Angeles:

At least 13 people were killed in southern California on Tuesday when a vehicle packed with passengers including minors collided with a large truck close to the Mexico border, officials said.

The accident occurred when the SUV carrying more than two dozen people and a semi-truck full of gravel crashed near El Centro, California, Judy Cruz, an official from El Centro Regional Medical Center said.

A total of 25 occupants, including the driver, were traveling in the SUV at the time of the crash, according to Omar Watson of the California Highway Patrol.

“We had 12 fatalities on scene, one person passed over at the hospital, a total of 13 people passed away,” he told a press conference.

However the El Centro Regional Medical Center reported that 15 people had died and there were 28 passengers in the SUV.

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

The first images of the collision broadcast by local media showed the semi-truck crashed into the side of a burgundy-colored SUV that appeared to have California license plates.

According to Watson, the accident occurred when the SUV entered an intersection in front of the semi-truck.

Children injured

“Some people were ejected onto the pavement, onto the ground, that passed away as a result of those injuries,” Watson said. “Other people were found deceased within the vehicle.”

He added that “there were children in the vehicle but we don’t have all the ages yet.”

Those killed ranged in age from 20 to 55, but at least one of the injured was a minor as young as 16.

The injured, including the driver of the semi-truck, were transported to at least three different regional hospitals, Watson said.

The cab of the truck was almost intact but the SUV, although still on its four wheels, was badly damaged.

“We are working with the Mexican consulate to determine exactly who was in the vehicle and make sure we notify the next of kin,” Watson said, without specifying the nationality of those involved in the accident.

The collision occurred shortly after 6:00 am on State Route 115 near the town of Holtville, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Mexico.

The accident was not a Border Patrol pursuit, Watson said, adding that “we’re not exactly sure what caused the collision but there were no law enforcement involved.”

Crashes involving high death tolls are not uncommon along the California-Mexico border during chases with US border authorities, according The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Separately, a series of harrowing collisions involving vehicles carrying farmworkers en route to the state’s Central Valley agricultural region spurred legislation requiring vans and buses carrying nine or more workers to have seat belts and undergo annual safety certification, the paper said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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New Delhi Television Limited is an Indian television media company founded in 1988 by Radhika Roy, a journalist. NDTV started off as a content provider for Doordarshan, producing the show The World This Week in November 1988.

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