13 killed in California border crossing crash: How did it happen? Why were there 25 people in an SUV? A visual explanation

Written by on March 3, 2021

Leer en español

Holtvile, Calif. — 13 folks died after a truck slammed into an SUV filled with 25 folks – lots of them Mexican nationals – simply earlier than 6:15 native time Tuesday, in an accident that has shined a highlight on immigration and border issues. Many within the SUV are believed to have entered the U.S. that morning by way of a gap in a border fence.

Twelve died on the scene and one died on the hospital. Among the survivors crawled out and others have been pulled from the broken automobile in a chaotic scene.

The crash has raised many questions — a number of have been answered since early reports on Tuesday — however many but stay. This can be a visible have a look at the info as we all know them.

Who was concerned within the SUV crash?

These within the SUV have been amongst 44 individuals who entered the U.S. by way of a gap lower into Southern California’s border fence, Border Patrol officials said Wednesday, and potential “smuggling” was being investigated.

Officer Omar Watson of California Freeway Patrol mentioned everybody within the SUV was injured to some extent. In accordance with Watson, the injured and useless have been a mixture of men and women from 15 to 53 years previous. One individual was launched from the hospital Tuesday.

The 69-year-old driver of the bigger truck was airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Middle in Palm Springs. The 22-year-old driver of the SUV, from close by Mexicali, Mexico, has died.

The place did the SUV come from?

Two automobiles have been seen on surveillance video leaving the world of the fence gap round 6 a.m. PT Tuesday, officers mentioned. One automobile, a Chevrolet Suburban, carried 19 folks and caught hearth after getting into the U.S. and touring 30 miles to the intersection of Interstate eight and State Route 115. All passengers escaped the automobile and have been taken into custody by Border Patrol brokers.

The opposite automobile, a 1997 Ford Expedition, was transporting 25 folks when a massive rig hit the SUV’s aspect on the intersection of State Route 115 and Norrish Street close to Holtville, California, officers mentioned.

This is how the collision occurred:

The place is Holtville, California?

A semi-truck towing a stomach dump trailer was headed northbound on Route 115 earlier than plowing right into a 1997 Ford Expedition on the intersection with Norrish Street a number of miles north of Holtville.

The semi crashed into the Expedition’s driver’s aspect because the SUV crossed over the roadway, pushing it into the shoulder. The SUV did have a cease signal, however it’s unknown who had proper of method, or if it stopped earlier than crossing the freeway. The large rig didn’t have a cease signal.

The Ford SUV that was destroyed when it crashed with a big rig sits on the side of Highway 115 near Holtville, Ca., as investigators try to determine what happened, March 2, 2021.

The Ford SUV that was destroyed when it crashed with an enormous rig sits on the aspect of Freeway 115 close to Holtville, Ca., as investigators attempt to decide what occurred, March 2, 2021.
Jay Calderon/The Desert Solar

First responders arrived on the scene inside 10 minutes of an preliminary name round 6:15 native time in line with California Freeway Patrol. The semi’s trailer didn’t look like loaded, which can have diminished the drive of the impression.

Twelve folks died on the scene and one other died on the hospital.

How do you match 25 folks into an SUV?

The 2 again seat rows of the Expedition had been eliminated to accommodate the big quantity of individuals within the automobile, and Waston indicated an inadequate quantity of security belts have been made accessible to passengers.

Has this occurred earlier than?

There have been a number of crashes at this intersection previously. Earlier memorials could possibly be seen in images, and in Google Earth imagery of website.

Calexico resident Hugo Castro, 49, positioned a minimum of 20 crosses on the scene for the crash victims. He mentioned he didn’t know any of them, nor was he accustomed to earlier collisions on the intersection. He positioned the crosses, he mentioned, to boost consciousness for immigration rights and reform.

“I do know they’re human beings who deserve a greater alternative,” Castro mentioned. “Human beings shouldn’t die for making an attempt to be with their family members.”

Related incidents are additionally described in a report on farmworkers.

Authorities are working with the Mexican consulate to determine the victims.

Why did the truck crash into the SUV?

Throughout a press convention on Tuesday, Officer Omar Watson of California Freeway Patrol mentioned it was too early to invest about the reason for the crash.

He said that whereas there have been skid marks on the roadway, it’s unknown whether or not they have been associated to the crash, and that climate didn’t look like an element because the roadways have been dry.

After being requested if the automobile was chased, Watson said that there have been no legislation enforcement companies concerned within the incident. Border Patrol officers have since said that they didn’t pursue the automobile after it crossed the border.

A 1997 Ford Expedition can carry a most payload of two,000 kilos. If it had 25 folks inside, that may simply exceed the payload restrict, taxing the brakes and making it harder to steer the automobile, Frank Borris, former head of the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration’s Workplace of Defects Investigation told the Associated Press.

“You’re going to have prolonged stopping distances, delayed reactions to steering inputs and potential overreaction to any sort of high-speed lane change,” mentioned Borris, who now runs a security consulting enterprise.

SUVs of that age tended to be top-heavy even when not carrying loads of weight, Borris mentioned.

“With all of that payload above the automobile’s middle of gravity, it’s going to make it much more unstable,” he mentioned.

The place have been the victims taken?

Paramedics took 11 folks to space hospitals following the collision.

Seven went to El Centro Regional Medical Middle, the place one in every of them died. The standing of three of these sufferers wasn’t instantly accessible Wednesday, however the remaining three have been transferred to Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Brawley.

Of these three, one was launched with minor accidents whereas the opposite two have been airlifted to Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego. They have been to be handled for life-threatening accidents, mentioned Karina Lopez, Pioneers public affairs liaison.

Scripps Public Relations Supervisor Steve Carpowich described the 2 victims as a lady and teenage male. Each are nonetheless being handled Wednesday, however Carpowich mentioned their circumstances couldn’t be launched on account of affected person confidentiality legal guidelines.

4 sufferers are being handled at Desert Regional Medical Middle in Palm Springs and spokesman Todd Burke mentioned one in every of them is in crucial situation. The opposite three are in secure situation, though one in every of them stays within the intensive care unit.

After seeing preliminary reviews on social media, USA TODAY reporters have been in a position to pinpoint the seemingly crash location utilizing knowledge from ADSBexchange.com, a web-based group claiming the world’s largest public supply of unfiltered flight knowledge. Medical evacuation helicopters circled the area, presumably selecting out a touchdown location. It seems that multiple flights befell between hospitals in Palm Springs and San Diego, and the crash website close to Holtville, Calif.

What occurs subsequent?

Officer Watson said he deliberate to satisfy with the NTSB, and that California Freeway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Teams have taken over the investigation and can see the investigation by way of to its conclusion and decide the trigger.

Police pushed reporters back from the scene on the side of Highway 115 near Holtville, Ca., as investigators scan the area from the sky, March 2, 2021.

Police pushed reporters again from the scene on the aspect of Freeway 115 close to Holtville, Ca., as investigators scan the world from the sky, March 2, 2021.
Jay Calderon/The Desert Solar

Check here for the latest updates: ‘Smuggling’ probed: SUV in California crash entered through hole in border fence, officials say

Leer en español: 13 muertos en un accidente en el cruce fronterizo de California: ¿Por qué había 25 personas en una camioneta? Una explicación visual

Contributing: Jay Calderon and Colin Atagi/The Desert Solar in Palm Springs, Kate Cimini/The Californian, Javier Zarracina, Grace Hauck, Susan Miller, Mike James, Emily LeCoz, Karina Zaiets/USA TODAY.

Reader's opinions

Leave a Reply

Current track



Current show

Classic Showcase

10:00 am 1:00 pm

Current show

Classic Showcase

10:00 am 1:00 pm