At least 15 people were killed when an 8-passenger sport utility vehicle carrying 27 people collided with a large truck loaded with debris in southern California on Feb. 2. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)
At least 15 people were killed in a major crash in Imperial County, California, Tuesday (March 2) when an 8-passenger sport utility vehicle (SUV) carrying 27 people collided with a large truck loaded with debris.
Citing Fox 11 Los Angeles, the Epoch Times reported that the crash occurred in Holtville, a town located about 125 miles outside of San Diego, near the U.S.-Mexico border.
El Centro Regional Medical Center said in a news release Tuesday that an SUV with 27 passengers inside crashed into a semitrailer truck loaded with debris.
Fourteen people were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident and another injured person died in the hospital, said Adolphe Edward, the medical center’s chief executive officer. Six other injured people are being treated at a hospital in El Centro, the region’s largest city.
Two of the injured were taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Brawley, California, Judy Cruz, chief of the emergency department at El Centro Regional Medical Center, said at a news conference.
Three of the injured were taken to the hospital by helicopter, local officials said.
“As you can certainly imagine, the patients are going through a difficult Time. This is a major accident and we will be providing medical care for them in the emergency room.” Edward said.
“We believe the SUV, which had 27 passengers, crashed into a semi-truck filled with debris.” Ms. Cruz said.
Jake Sanchez, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol, said the driver of the truck suffered minor injuries in the collision. He described the SUV in question as being manufactured by Ford and carrying a maximum of seven to eight people, according to the law.
The New York Times reported that Dr. Edwards said in an interview that he believed the victims were undocumented immigrants. He said, “This was a serious and major traumatic accident.”