12 injured SUV passengers in fatal Imperial County crash with semi-truck ID’d

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Law enforcement officers work at the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Authorities say a semi-truck crashed into an SUV carrying 25 people on a Southern California highway, killing at least 13 people. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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SAN DIEGO — The 12 passengers injured in a fatal Imperial County crash this week have been identified.

Thirteen were killed Tuesday when a SUV carrying 25 people collided with a semi-truck on state Route 115 north of Holtville, about 11 miles east of El Centro. The 2011 Peterbilt truck was headed northbound on SR-115 when it hit the 1997 Ford Expedition with more than two dozen occupants inside at the intersection of Norrish Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.

At least 10 of those killed were identified Tuesday as Mexican citizens, according to Roberto Velasco, director of North American affairs for Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department. Those injured in the SUV suffered both moderate and major injuries.

The driver of the big rig also sustained major injuries, according to CHP.

Border Patrol officials told The Associated Press those involved in the crash were among 40 migrants who entered the U.S. through a hole cut into the Southern California border fence with Mexico.

All but one of the injured passengers were identified with their stated name, date of birth and residence, CHP said.

Their names are as follows, sorted by the hospital where they’re receiving care:

UC San Diego Medical Center

  • Rene Zelando, 30-year-old male, of Nayarit, Mexico. Treated for major injuries;
  • Berti Orozco, 21-year-old female, of Guatemala City, Guatemala. Treated for major injuries;
  • Zeterina Mendoza, 33-year-old female, of Guerrero, Mexico. Treated for major injuries; and
  • Camilio Rodriguez, 44-year-old male, of Santa Maria Del Oro, Mexico. Treated for major injuries.

Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego

  • Jose Martinez, 16-year-old male, of Guerrero, Mexico. Treated for major injuries; and
  • Berlin Cardona, 46-year-old female, of Guatemala City, Guatemala. Treated for major injuries;

El Centro Regional Medical Center

  • Darlin Liliana Robledo, 20-year-old female, of Tapachula, Mexico. Treated for moderate injuries.

Pioneers Memorial Hospital, Brawley

  • Avelardo Nava, 18-year-old male, of Guerrero, Mexico. Treated for moderate injuries; and
  • Manuel Rufino, 39-year-old male, of Oaxaca, Mexico. Treated for moderate injuries.

Desert Regional Medical Center, Palm Springs

  • Jorge Gutierrez Martinez, 24-year-old male, whose residence is unknown. Treated for major injuries;
  • Esteban Montiel, 22-year-old male, whose residence is unknown. Treated for major injuries; and
  • A 15-year-old Jane Doe whose residence is unknown. She was treated for major injuries.

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