A California highway crash involving human smugglers and 25 illegal aliens jammed into a single SUV left thirteen people dead Tuesday, a Border Patrol source told Fox News.
The overloaded Ford Expedition, which normally seats eight, was hit by a semi-truck near the U.S.-Mexico border, the source says. The SUV’s back seats had been removed so the passengers could be piled one on top of the other in a prone position.
The crash occurred in Holtville, a town about 125 miles outside of San Diego.
California Highway Patrol officers found 12 people dead on the scene while another person died at a local hospital. Meanwhile, the remaining eight victims with injuries were transported to different local hospitals.
Authorities do not yet know if the driver of the Ford, who died in the crash, had stopped at a stop sign before crossing into the path of the big rig around 6:15 a.m., CHP Chief Omar Watson told reporters.
The gravel-hauling semi-truck hit the left side of the SUV, which appeared to have been pushed off the road.
“Obviously, that vehicle is not meant for that many people,” Watson said. “It’s unfortunate that that many people were put into that vehicle because there’s not enough safety constraints to safely keep those people in that vehicle.”