California authorities ID most survivors of deadly human-smuggling crash as illegal immigrants

Survivors of a deadly Southern California crash involving human-smugglers, a crammed SUV and a tractor-trailer Tuesday include residents of Mexico and Guatemala trying to enter the country illegally, according to a local report.

Twelve survivors remained hospitalized Friday with moderate to severe injuries, KTTV, the Fox-owned TV station in Los Angeles. Seven were from Mexico, two from Guatemala and the rest were listed as “residences unknown.” Three survivors were 18 years old or younger.

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 2, 2021, file photo, law enforcement officers work at the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif. Nine migrants in an SUV packed with 25 people that drove through an opening in a border wall suffered major injuries after their vehicle slammed into a tractor-trailer and killed 13 others inside, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday, March 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

FILE – In this Tuesday, March 2, 2021, file photo, law enforcement officers work at the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif. Nine migrants in an SUV packed with 25 people that drove through an opening in a border wall suffered major injuries after their vehicle slammed into a tractor-trailer and killed 13 others inside, the California Highway Patrol said Thursday, March 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)

Most of the survivors have been identified, with the exception of a 15-year-old girl who suffered major injuries and remains hospitalized.

The driver of the truck had also been hospitalized with moderate injuries.

Thirteen people died in the crash near the U.S.-Mexico border after a Ford Expedition overloaded with 25 passengers struck a Peterbilt truck at Highway 115 and Norris Road in Holtville, Calif., around 6:15 a.m. Tuesday, according to authorities.

Hugo Castro leaves crosses at the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Authorities say a semitruck crashed into an SUV, killing multiple people. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Hugo Castro leaves crosses at the scene of a deadly crash in Holtville, Calif., Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Authorities say a semitruck crashed into an SUV, killing multiple people. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

CALIFORNIA ‘MASS CASUALTY’ CRASH INVOLVED SMUGGLERS, ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

The Ford SUV holds only eight people, but the back seats had been taken out to provide more space for people. Authorities said at the tame it was unclear whether the SUV had blown a stop sign at the intersection. The driver died in the crash.

The deceased victims have not yet been publicly identified.

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Border Patrol sources told Fox News earlier this week that they suspected human smugglers were involved. The SUV was believed to have entered the country through a hole authorities found cut in a border fence near Calexico, Calif.

The victims ranged in age from 15 to 53, authorities said.

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