Majority of 13 killed in California crash were Mexican, at least 2 survivors are Guatemalan

California

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Seven survivors of a crash that killed 13 people in Holtville, Calif., were taken to a hospital in San Diego according to a spokesperson from the Mexican Consulate in San Diego.

Three are from Mexico and two are Guatemalan nationals. The other two have yet to be identified.

Border Report has learned that of the three Mexican survivors in San Diego, one is a 16-year-old male who is intubated but stable. Another, a 34-year-old woman is being treated for broken ribs and legs and is also reported to be in stable condition. The third person from Mexico is a 44-year-old man with spinal and internal injuries in stable condition.

A consulate spokesperson said the Mexican nationals brought to San Diego are from the states of Guerrero and Nayarit.

According to the California Highway Patrol, 25 people were packed into a Ford Expedition when it collided with a semi about 15 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, and about 130 miles east of San Diego.

Thirteen people died in the crash, 10 were from Mexico hailing from states like Oaxaca, Morelos, Michoacán and Nayarit.

The semi truck ran into the SUV at the intersection of State Route 115 and Norrish Road on Tuesday morning.

Chief Omar Watson, who runs the CHP’s Border Division, said they couldn’t tell whether the SUV was carrying undocumented migrants or field workers on their way to work.

He did say the Expedition was missing all of its seats except for the two in the front and that’s how the driver was able to fit so many people in the vehicle.

According to initial findings released late Tuesday by the highway patrol, the SUV was driven by “a 28-year-old resident of Mexico.” The driver of the rig is 68-year-old Joe Beltrán from El Centro, Calif.. 

The report also stated it is unclear why the driver of the SUV pulled into the intersection. Earlier in the day, Watson said the driver of the vehicle may have ignored a stop sign running into the path of the truck.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying it has “initiated a human smuggling investigation.” No further details were made public.

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