More Details Emerge Surrounding Early Morning "Mass Casualty" Crash in California.
More details are now available surround the horrific SUV crash that killed more than a dozen people this morning. California authorities say that an SUV carrying 25 people was struck by a semi truck just after 6am. The SUV is believed to have gone through a stop sign in front of the semi. The semi's driver, who was hauling two trailers full of gravel, struck the left side of the SUV killing twelve people, including the driver, and leaving multiple people injured.
Officials say that earlier reports of fifteen deaths have been corrected and say that only twelve died at the scene and one additional person died shortly after arriving at an area hospital. Multiple victims were thrown from the SUV and were found laying in the road by first responders.
The ages of the victims vary greatly, including children, and no identities have been released pending notification of the victim's families. California Highway Patrol Chief Omar Watson said in a press conference that the investigation is including interpreters due to a language barrier between authorities and surviving victims of the crash.
Watson has said that, at this point, the are investigating all possibilities for the cause of the crash and that the border patrol was actively involved.
“It was an unusual number of people in an SUV, but we don’t know who they were,” says Macario Mora, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection in Yuma and El Centro, adding that they could have been farmworkers.
A harvest is underway in the region of most of the winter lettuce and other leafy greens eaten in the United States.
Our prayers are with the families of these victims.