California crash leaves 13 people dead after truck and SUV collide

California crash leaves 13 people dead after truck and SUV collide
Law enforcement at the scene of the deadly crash in Holtville, California. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: At least 13 people were killed on Tuesday in southern California when a tractor-trailer slammed into an SUV carrying 25 passengers, officials said.

The crash occurred in the dusty farming community of Holtville, near the US-Mexico border.

Omar Watson, chief of the highway patrol’s border division, said those killed, who included the driver of the SUV, ranged in age from 15 to 53, and minors as young as 16 were injured. Mr Watson said the driver was 22 years old.

Watson said several of the occupants were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene; others died inside the SUV. A Ford Expedition designed to hold five to eight people.

Hospital officials had previously said that 27 people were in the vehicle, and 15 had died, but Watson said there were 25 passengers and 13 fatalities.

Three victims were flown to other hospitals in the area and seven victims were brought to El Centro Regional medical center. Judy Cruz, director of El Centro Regional medical center’s emergency room, said one person died at the hospital.

Roberto Velasco, the foreign ministry’s director for North America, in a tweet: “Unfortunately, consular staff have confirmed the death of 10 Mexicans so far.”

A California highway patrol officer Jake Sanchez said the crash occurred around 6am PT. The tractor-trailer struck the left side of the SUV, crumpling its exterior and pushing it off the road.

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