Saturday , April 17 2021

A large SUV crash kills more than a dozen in Imperial County

A collision between a large rig and an SUV that led more than two dozen people near the U.S.-Mexico border this morning (Tuesday) killed at least 13 people and several others were injured, officials said.

Neither the number of people traveling in the SUV nor the number of victims was clear. Judy Cruz, director of the emergency department at El Centro Regional Medical Center, said 28 people were in the vehicle.

But Arturo Plattero, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol’s Al-Centro Office, said there were 25 people inside the Ford Expedition SUV, built for seven or eight hikers. He said he was carrying at least one boy in the vehicle.

Hospital authorities initially reported that 14 people had died at the scene, but later CHP officials said 12 people had died there, and others had died at the El Centro Regional Medical Center.

Four people were airlifted to the Palm Springs Regional Medical Center, including the large rig driver, Paltrow said. Three of them are in intensive care, said the information officer at the hospital, Todd Barak.

Three people were taken to Pioneers Memorial Hospital in Broly, about 20 miles away, and six more were treated in the El Centro area, Cruz said.

“The patients are, of course, going through a difficult period,” said Adolf Edward, CEO of El Centro Azori.

CHP officials said the people inside the vehicle ranged in age from 16 to 55.

Photos from the scene show a Bordeaux SUV, with the driver’s side involved in front of the large rig that led two trailers. The windshield of the SUV is shattered, and debris is scattered on the ground around the two vehicles.

Some of the passengers were ejected on the road in the collision, CHP officials said.

Dr Shabon Burkhardt at the El Centro Regional Medical Center said injuries range from fractures to life-threatening head and chest injuries. The hospital transfers patients to other treatment centers once they are stable, she said.

“Our team has done a tremendous job in preparing everything for these patients and the ability to care for them and move them to the right places as soon as possible, or if we can treat them here, they take good care as well,” Burchardt said.

Deputy Fire Chief Sal Flores said the Imperial District Fire Department and the district emergency services responded to the “mass killing incident” at 6:16 p.m.

The SUV turned west onto Norish Road at the junction of Route 115 and “for unknown reasons” drove into the large rig lane, which turned north onto the highway, according to Chief of Staff Jake Sanchez, a spokesman for the agency. Border Brigade.

The speed limit for large trucks in the same section is 55 km / h, and the truck closed the SUV.

“We are not sure if the vehicle [SUV] Passed the stop sign or if the vehicle stopped and entered unsafely. We are still not sure, “said Plato.

Flores said 15 first responders and five firefighters arrived at the scene north of Holtville.

The fire brigade of El Centro and customs officers and border services also assisted the local imperial district sheriff.

Route 115 is now blocked heading north from Holtville, Flores said.

Senator Diane Feinstein (Di-San Francisco) said she was “heartbroken” to learn about the fatal crash.

“My office is closely monitoring the situation as we learn more about this horrific crash,” Feinstein said in a statement. “I thank the Imperial District Fire Department and other first responders for their prompt response and the various medical centers in the area that have treated the injured passengers.”

For decades there have been concerns about the high death toll from crashes along the California-Mexico border. Many of the wreckage includes immigrants who attempted to cross the United States, with a significant number of accidents occurring during U.S. authorities ’pursuits.

There is no evidence that this collision involved a chase. Paltrow said, “There was no chase.”

The Los Angeles Times-ProPublica 2018 investigation found that for three years U.S. Border Patrol agents engaged in more than 500 frontiers in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Of these, one in three ended in a crash. In agricultural areas in California, such as Imperial County and the Central Valley, there have also been concerns about deaths of farm-packaged farm workers.

A series of horrific crashes involving farm workers in vans in the Central Valley prompted legislation in the early 2000s that required vans and buses carrying nine or more workers to equip passenger seat belts and obtain an annual safety certification from the California Highway Patrol. The laws have also increased penalties and education programs for growers.

Casey Mora, a spokeswoman for Yoma and El Chino’s personal and border-limiting sector, told the Times in a statement that agency personnel did not chase or track the SUVs during the crash on Tuesday, but responded to the scene at the request of the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office.

“CBP personnel were not involved in the accident,” a teacher said. Although some news outlets published information indicating the victims’ immigration status, a teacher said it was speculation and that the agency did not have those details at the time.

“We do not use the term without documentation in hospitals,” said Edward, CEO of El Centro Medical. “In our eyes, these people who came to us are sick.”

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