Twelve People Killed on Scene in Tragic SUV-Semi-Truck Crash on State Highway 115
Imperial County, CA (March 04, 2021) – On Tuesday, at least 13 people were killed in a tragic SUV-Semi-Truck crash on State Highway 115.
The fatal accident occurred at about 6:15 a.m. at an intersection outside the agricultural community of Holtville.
Reports said an SUV with 25 people inside pulled in front of an oncoming tractor-trailer on a highway cutting through farmland near the Mexican border. It is still unknown if the SUV ran a stop sign or had stopped before entering the highway.
When officers arrived at the scene, some of the passengers were crawling out of the crumpled 1997 Ford Expedition.
When at the same time, the big rig’s front end still pushing into the SUV’s left side, and two trailers jackknifed behind it.
Unfortunately, officers confirmed twelve people were found dead on the scene and another died at the hospital.
Moreover, injuries ranged from minor to severe which included fractures and head trauma.
Responders took six people to El Centro Regional Medical Center while they airlifted four to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs. One person is in critical condition and the others were stable.
The Ford Expedition driver, a 28-year-old from Mexicali, Mexico, died in the accident.
On the other hand, the big rig driver, a 69-year-old from nearby El Centro, was hospitalized due to moderate injuries.
Chaotic Scene of a Deadly Crash
Furthermore, the deceased ranged from 20 to 55, while among the injured, the youngest is 16 years old.
The investigators are looking into why so many people were crammed inside the SUV, a vehicle built to hold only about eight people safely.
Additionally, officers said the speed limit for tractor-trailers on the highway is 55 mph. The other road also sets 55 mph for vehicles.
Meanwhile, a 1997 Ford Expedition can carry a maximum payload of 2,000 pounds. If the vehicle carried 25 people inside, that would exceed the payload limit.
As a result, the brakes might not function well and make it tougher to steer. Also, SUVs of that age are top-heavy even without carrying a lot of weight.
Authorities are identifying the dead. Officers do not know if the SUV was carrying farm workers or migrants crossing into the country illegally.
Subsequently, the Mexican government said that so far, the Mexican consulate confirmed ten of the dead were Mexican nationals. Authorities are still working to confirm the nationality of the other three people who died.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Investigate the Crash
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents’ were on the scene to investigate if this is a possible case of human smuggling.
The season to harvest lettuce and other winter vegetable crops runs from November until March. That is when buses and SUV carrying farmworkers are often rumbling down the rural roads to the fields during early morning hours.
Sadly, the area is where smugglers carrying in migrants in trucks and vehicles pass by. Hundreds of migrants who were killed after crossing the border were buried in unmarked graves in Holtville’s cemetery on the edge of town.
This fatal crash took place amid verdant farms that grow a wide variety of vegetables and alfalfa used for cattle feed.
Hours later, a crew of a few dozen still worked the fields near the scene.
Meanwhile, officers are investigating the immigration status of those in the SUV.
Sweet Lawyers wants to send our condolences to the family and friends of those that died in this crash. May you find comfort during this difficult time.
Coping With a Crash on State Highway 115
Moreover, in a time filled with uncertainty, confronting a tragic loss can seem unimaginable. As the loved ones of the deceased grieve, it is also important to recognize that if you lost family in an accident, you may recover damages through a wrongful death suit.
Ultimately, this offers the loved ones of a departed family member some semblance of justice.
“The aftermath of tragic accidents can make everything difficult for a family. The last thing most families want to deal with is piles of paperwork, questions from insurance companies or defense attorneys, and attempting to obtain police reports. Grieving and handling legal claims don’t exactly go hand in hand, and this is why hiring an experienced attorney can not only provide you with peace of mind that you have a fighter in your corner. Having legal representation after such a traumatic event will provide your family the space to heal while ensuring that justice is brought to your loved one,” says Mark Sweet, a seasoned attorney at Sweet Lawyers.
Finally, reachout to Sweet Lawyers for more information. Our website chat agents are available 24/7 to discuss your family’s legal options. Also, you may call us at (800) 674 7854.