In one of the most tragic truck accidents in history at the U.S.-Mexico border, at least 13 people died Tuesday when a big rig collided with an SUV carrying 25 people.
The border crash occurred around 6:15 a.m. at the intersection of SR 115 and Norrish Road, just
a few miles from the small agricultural town of Holtville, CA. An 18 wheeler carrying gravel was traveling northbound on the highway when a 1997 Ford Expedition entered the intersection and
was T-boned by the truck. It’s unclear whether the SUV had run a stop sign before entering the intersection.
Twelve people died at the scene, said Highway Patrol Division Chief Omar Watson. All but the driver and passenger seats were removed from the SUV, making it easy for passengers to be
ejected from the vehicle upon impact. The truck driver is 68-year-old Joe Beltran of El Centro, California, who was taken to a local hospital for moderate injuries.
SUV Was Not Carrying Farmworkers, Authorities Say
In the wake of the horrific border crash, investigators have ruled out speculation that the SUV passengers were farmworkers. Instead, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Homeland Security Agents suspect human smuggling activity and have launched an investigation.
The overloaded Expedition was transporting both men and women ranging from 15 to 55 years old. Of the 13 who perished, ten are confirmed Mexican nationals. California’s Imperial Valley, where the border crash occurred, is home to many of America’s winter crops. Unfortunately, it is also a popular area for illegal border crossing.
According to an interview with ABC News, U.S. Border Patrol confirmed Wednesday that the SUV involved in the border crash was one of two vehicles who had illegally crossed through an opening in the U.S.-Mexico fence. The other vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban transporting 19 people, caught fire after breaching the border. All passengers survived and were taken into custody.
Severity of Truck Accident Injuries
Tuesday’s border crash brings to light the severity of truck accident injuries, particularly when the crash involves a passenger vehicle. Due to the sheer force and size of big rig trucks, passenger vehicles are no match for tractor trailers in a collision. Large trucks can do significant damage, even when traveling at low speeds. More often than not, victims suffer catastrophic injury or worse, death.
Not only are these damages life-changing, they often place a tremendous financial burden on the victims and their surviving families. In addition to grieving their losses, families are faced with piling medical bills, a loss of income due to injuries, and even permanent loss of earning capacity.
Contact a Truck Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident or other collision, you may qualify for compensation to help offset your expenses. To learn more about your legal options, contact the experienced auto accident attorneys at Sachs Law for a free, private legal consultation. Simply fill out the form here, or call our offices at 1 (833) 4-THE-MVP. We are available to answer your questions and help you make the best decision for yourself and your loved ones.