EL PASO, Texas (KTSM/Border Report) — Nine people were killed as a semi plowed into parked vehicles and tipped over into roadside food stands and the patio of a restaurant on Wednesday along the Pan-American Highway in Villa Ahumada, a town 90 miles south of Juarez.
Photos and videos shared on social media and Mexican news sites show the tractor-trailer on its side, lodged in the front of a hall that houses burrito stands and other food carts.
On Thursday morning, the Chihuahua Attorney General’s Office said the crash left nine people dead and 16 wounded. “Preliminary reports established that a Kenworthy trailer truck struck a parked vehicle and overturned,” the AG’s Office said in a statement.
Authorities identified the driver as Saul A.D., 43, and said he was traveling from Juarez to Chihuahua City. He remains in custody pending an investigation. The trailer came to rest on the patio of a restaurant called Tejaban Benito Juarez; six people died on the scene and three others at hospitals. At least two of the deceased are women.
Villa Ahumada is somewhat of a tourist attraction, as buses coming from the border usually stop so riders can buy burritos and quesadillas to eat on the road.
This is not the first recent fatal accident along this stretch of highway, officially known as Mexico Highway 45. In late July, three adults perished when their pickup struck a semi parked on the road, Mexican media reported.