15 dead in horrific car crash, 12 more in hospital
A massive crash in southern California has killed at least 15 people and put a dozen more in hospital, according to local authorities.
Around 6am this morning, an SUV carrying 27 passengers was struck by a semitruck full of gravel in Imperial County, which is near the US border with Mexico.
Fourteen of the SUV's passengers died at the scene, and one more died after arriving at El Centro Regional Medical Centre.
"We believe there were 27 passengers in this SUV that struck a semi-truck full of gravel," said Judy Cruz, managing director of the medical centre's emergency room department.
"Fourteen were dead on the scene; three were flown out from the scene; seven patients were transported to El Centro Regional Medical Centre, where unfortunately one of those has died since arrival; and two patients were transferred to Pioneers Hospital.
"We have three patients that are pending transfers out to other facilities, so we have already called air support from other outside agencies to be on standby. So as soon as they're ready, we're going to have them out of here as soon as possible."
The hospital's CEO, Adolphe Edward, said the patients were "going through a difficult time".
"This was a major accident, and we are taking care of them in the emergency department," Mr Edward said.
"We're going to be providing you with updates as the situation continues to change."
#BREAKING: New footage shows the scene after a bus and truck collided on HWY 115 near Holtville, California. Preliminary scanner reports suggest at least 12 people have been killed or injured. Video via Mario Gomez on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/YTtL3BwAsc— UA News (@UrgentAlertNews) March 2, 2021
The crash is under investigation by the Imperial Country Sheriff's Office.
California Highway Patrol Officer Arturo Platero said the SUV was travelling westbound on Norrish Road, about 16 kilometres north of the border, when it went "in the direct path" of the track, which was travelling northbound.
Originally published as 15 dead in horrific car crash