Feds ask for help finding smugglers at center of crash that killed 13

Local
This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Federal prosecutors in San Diego put a call out for the public’s help identifying alleged human smugglers at the center of the Imperial County crash that killed 13 people and injured several others.

The March 2 crash near Holtville killed 13 Mexican and Guatemalan nationals when an SUV carrying the victims crashed into a tractor trailer at the intersection of Norrish Road and state Route 115.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that following a review of border surveillance camera footage, it appears two SUVs drove through a cut-open portion of border fence sometime prior to the crash.

One of the SUVs broke down on Interstate 8 near Holtville and 19 undocumented immigrants were arrested there by U.S. Border Patrol agents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The other SUV was involved in the fatal wreck, with a dozen victims dying at the crash scene and another who died at a hospital. Several others were airlifted to hospitals with “significant injuries,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Officials are seeking tips regarding the identities of the alleged smugglers, with a tip line phone number available at 760-335-5343.

“This tragic case is a grim reminder that putting your faith and future in the hands of smugglers is a very dangerous gamble,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. “Smugglers are motivated by greed and care nothing for the people they put in harm’s way. We will aggressively prosecute smugglers who recklessly cause deaths.”

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Popular Stories

Latest News

More News