Wednesday, March 3, 2021

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV near US/Mexico Border

"Authorities are investigating whether human smuggling was involved after a crash . .  . involving an SUV packed with 25 people and a tractor-trailer that left 13 people dead and bodies strewn across a roadway near the U.S. Mexico border.

Most of the dead were Mexicans, a Mexican official said.

When police arrived, some of the passengers were trying to crawl out of the crumpled 1997 Ford Expedition while others were wandering around the fields. The rig’s front end was pushed into the SUV’s left side and two empty trailers were jackknifed behind it."

Watson said the SUV only had front seats — the middle and back seats had been removed. That would allow more people to fit into the vehicle but makes it even more unsafe.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the SUV was carrying migrants who had crossed the border, ferrying farmworkers to fields, or was being used for some other purpose.

`Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego responded ... and have initiated a human smuggling investigation,' the agency said in a statement, adding that other details weren’t being released.

Macario Mora, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, said agents were not pursing the SUV at the time of the crash, which was initially rumored. The immigration status of the passengers was unknown."


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