Tags: Immigration | ice | immigration | human smuggling | crash

ICE Launches Human Smuggling Probe After Deadly Crash

ICE Launches Human Smuggling Probe After Deadly Crash
Investigators look over the scene of a crash between an SUV and a semi-truck full of gravel near Holtville, California on March 2, 2021. (PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 03 March 2021 07:50 AM

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is conducting an investigation into human smuggling after a crash in California that killed at least 13 people. 

ICE announced the investigation Tuesday after a single SUV, filled with as many as 25 people, and a large truck collided on a rural road near the U.S.-Mexico border, a source with the Border Patrol told Fox News.  

The agency said in its statement that "special agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego responded" to the accident, which left victims' bodies scattered on the roadway, "have initiated a human smuggling investigation."

Jake Sanchez, a California Highway Patrol spokesman, reported the collision happened when the driver of the SUV drove into the path of the truck at around 6:15 a.m. just outside a farming town located 15 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, reports The Washington Post

The SUV's 22-year-old driver was one of those killed in the crash, said Sanchez. It was not clear whether either vehicle had stopped before the truck hit the driver's side of the SUV. The 69-year-old truck driver was being treated at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, reports The Post. 

When police arrived at the scene, they found some passengers trying to climb out of the SUV, a 1997 Ford Expedition, which had had its back seats removed so more people could fit inside, reports Fox News. Other passengers were wandering around nearby farm fields.  

The people in the crashed SUV ranged in ages from 15 years old to 53 years old, and authorities are working to confirm the nationalities of three people in the vehicle. 

Authorities said California Highway Patrol officers found 12 people dead at the scene. Another victim later died at a local hospital and the other eight injured passengers were taken to local hospitals. 

According to the Mexican consulate, at least 10 of those killed in the crash were Mexicans, Roberto Velasco, director of North American affairs for Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department, said in a message posted to Twitter. 

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is conducting an investigation into human smuggling after a crash in California that killed at least 13 people. ICE announced the investigation Tuesday after a single SUV...
ice, immigration, human smuggling, crash
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2021-50-03
Wednesday, 03 March 2021 07:50 AM
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