SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 21 September 2021, Tuesday |

At Least 13 Killed in crash in Southern California near US-Mexico border, Officials say

An SUV packed with people and a semitruck hauling two trailers slammed into each other in a rural California county near the Mexican border early Tuesday morning, leaving at least a dozen dead and others hospitalized, officials said.

Overhead video in Imperial County shows the brutal aftermath of the crash, with the jack-knifed semitruck smashed into the left side of a Ford Expedition. Both vehicles came to a rest off the side of a rural road about 10 miles north of the US-Mexico border.

Hospital and police officials gave slightly different tallies of the injured and dead in the incident.

California Highway Patrol Border Division Chief Omar Watson said there were 25 occupants in the Expedition during the crash and that 13 died, including the driver. The Ford Expedition can safely seat up to eight people.

Watson described a gruesome scene in which some occupants were ejected from the vehicle and died, while others were found dead within the SUV.

Authorities are working with the Mexican consulate to determine who was in the vehicle and to notify next of kin, Watson said.