Thirteen of the 25 people crammed into an SUV were killed on Tuesday in a horrific crash on a southern Californian highway. According to Mexican officials, most of the people who died were from Mexico.
The accident occurred at 6:15 am in an agricultural area of southern California. Holtville is about 125 miles east of San Diego and 15 miles north of Mexico. Although the cause of the accident is unknown at this time, a big rig crashed into the side of the 1997 Ford Expedition. Authorities suspect the SUV pulled into the path of the big-rig truck.
Passengers in the SUV ranged in age from 15 to 53. The 28-year-old driver was among the dead. The 68-year-old truck driver was hospitalized with moderate injuries.
California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said the SUV had only the two front seats. Presumably, the middle and back seats were removed to accommodate more passengers. But it made the vehicle unsafe.
Watson called the scene “chaotic” and “a very bad situation.” Injured victims were found wandering in a field near the crash scene.
The identity and immigration status of the victims and survivors are unknown. Also not known is the destination of the vehicle.
Special agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego have initiated a human smuggling investigation, the agency said in a statement.
Unfortunately, Holtville, California, has been the scene of human smuggling because of the area’s isolation. In fact, hundreds of migrant workers have died after crossing the border. Holtville’s cemetery is littered with unmarked graves.
If this is but another in a long string of accidents and deaths of migrant workers and undocumented immigrants, how many more will have to die before President Biden makes good on his campaign promises to reform immigration?
Image from: wgntv.com