SUV in fatal California crash entered United States through hole in border fence
Border patrol officials said on Wednesday they believed the SUV involved in a fatal crash in southern California on Tuesday that left 13 people dead was part of a migrant smuggling operation and entered the United States illegally. United by crossing a hole in the border fence between California and Mexico, according to a report from Associated press Wednesday.
The head of the El Centro sector of the border patrol, Gregory Bovino, told the AP that the agency has surveillance video of a Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Suburban leading to the opening early Tuesday.
At approximately 6:15 a.m., the expedition collided with a semi-trailer on State Route 115, approximately 12 miles from the border.
Omar Watson, the head of the border division of the CHP, noted that investigators did not know how fast either vehicle was traveling or what led to the collision.
According to AP Report, the area of the fence where the opening was dug was constructed before former President Donald Trump began installing taller barriers that penetrate deeper into the ground, making them more difficult to handle.
Forbes contacted the U.S. Border Patrol for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
The expedition is designed to hold eight people safely, but there was 25 people crammed inside the SUV, the California Highway Patrol border division has already confirmed. All seats, except the driver and front passenger, had been removed. When emergency teams arrived at the crash site, they found 12 people already dead. Another person died at a local hospital and six others were taken to hospital with injuries. Omar Watson, the head of the border division of the CHP, noted that the dead were between 20 and 55 years old. Of the injured passengers, the youngest was 16 and the oldest was 65. The other vehicle that passed through the opening of the fence, the Chevy Suburban, was carrying 19 people. It caught fire shortly after crossing the border. All the passengers escaped the fire from the vehicle without injury and were subsequently arrested by border patrol officers.
“Smugglers have proven time and time again that they have little respect for human life,” Bovino said told the AP. “Those considering crossing the border illegally should stop to reflect on the dangers that too often end in tragedy, tragedies that our border patrol officers and first responders are unfortunately very familiar with. “
To monitor :
A spokesperson for San Diego-based Homeland Security Investigations, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit, said wednesday that the agency had opened an investigation into human trafficking, but declined to provide further details.