15 ‘undocumented migrants’ dead and several injured after SUV ‘carrying 27’ crashes into semi-truck


At least 15 dead and several others injured after Ford SUV ‘carrying 27 immigrants’ crashes into semi-truck near the Mexican border in California

  • The Imperial County Fire Department was called to a ‘mass fatality incident’ just after 6:15am, on Highway 115, at Norris Road
  • A Ford Expedition SUV had been travelling westbound on Norrish Road near State Route 115 when it traveled ‘in the direct path’ of a big rig truck
  • Officials say they believe the vehicle, which has a legal capacity of seven to eight people, was carrying 27 passengers 
  • At least 15 people have died and several more are hurt, officials say
  • Four were airlifted to a nearby hospital, three of whom are now in intensive care
  • It’s unclear how many people were injured in total and how the crash happened 
  • Officials said they believed all of the victims are undocumented migrants 

At least 15 people were killed Tuesday morning when an SUV collided with a semi-truck in Southern California, authorities have announced.

The crash occurred on State Route 115 in the area of El Centro, 10 miles north of the US-Mexico border, at around 6:15am this morning. 

A Ford Expedition SUV believed to be carrying 27 passengers on board had been driving westbound on Norrish Road when it traveled ‘in the direct path’ of a gravel truck heading northbound on 115. 

Fourteen people were found dead at the scene and another victim died in hospital, Judy Cruz, the managing director of the emergency department at the El Centro Regional Medical Center said at a news conference. 

Several others were injured, with six currently being treated at El Centro. Their conditions are not immediately known.

At least five others were airlifted from the scene to other treatment centers, three of whom are currently in intensive care at the Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

Dr. Adolphe Edward, the chief executive officer of El Centro Regional, said he believed that all the victims in the SUV were undocumented migrants.  

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A Ford Expedition SUV (seen above) reported to be carrying 27 passengers on board had been travelling westbound on Norrish Road when it traveled ‘in the direct path’ of a gravel truck heading northbound on 115

Fourteen people were found dead at the scene, Judy Cruz, the managing director of the emergency department at the El Centro Regional Medical Center said at a news conference

Fourteen people were found dead at the scene, Judy Cruz, the managing director of the emergency department at the El Centro Regional Medical Center said at a news conference

Seven people were taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, where one person has since died

Seven people were taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center, where one person has since died 

The circumstances surrounding the crash and the total number of those injured has not yet been confirmed by officials. 

A spokesman for the California Highway Patrol said that the driver of the truck suffered only minor injuries. It’s unclear if he sought treatment at a hospital.

Cruz said during Tuesday’s press conference that officials believe the SUV had been carrying 27 passengers on board when it struck the semi truck ‘full of gravel’.  

Ford Expeditions typically have a legal capacity of seven to eight people.   

Dr. Edward called Tuesday’s crash a ‘major accident with major trauma’.

‘The patients are of course going through a little bit of a difficult time as you can imagine,’ he added. ‘We are taking care of them in the emergency room department.’

The Imperial County Fire Department was called to a 'mass fatality incident' just after 6:15am, on Highway 115, at Norris Road

The Imperial County Fire Department was called to a ‘mass fatality incident’ just after 6:15am, on Highway 115, at Norris Road

The site of the crash is in southeastern California, about 10 miles east of El Centro and about 10 miles north of the Mexican border

The site of the crash is in southeastern California, about 10 miles east of El Centro and about 10 miles north of the Mexican border

Fifteen first responders from Imperial County, five fire engines and a helicopter all responded to the initial call.

The incident was escalated to a ‘mass casualty event’, which prompted a second-alarm response, with 25 additional personnel called to the scene along with at least four additional ambulances and four air helicopters. 

El Centro Fire Department units are also now on the scene, along with Customs and Border Patrol officers, who are assisting the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office. 

The site of the crash is in southeastern California, about 10 miles east of El Centro and about 10 miles north of the Mexican border. 

All lanes of northbound and southbound SR-115 at Norrish Road are closed, and motorists are told to avoid the area.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates… 

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