At least 15 people have died after an SUV and semi-truck collided near the California-Mexico border Tuesday, hospital officials said.
Hospital officials said in a video posted on Facebook that 28 passengers were in the SUV and the semi-truck was “full of gravel.” Children were involved in the crash, hospital officials said.
At least 14 people died at the scene of the accident, El Centro Regional Medical Center officials said. Three people who were hurt in the accident were air-lifted to medical care. Seven others were transferred to El Centro Regional Medical Center, one of whom died after arriving.
Officials at El Centro Regional Medical Center said people treated there had injuries including fractures, “life-threatening head injuries” and chest injuries. People who needed critical care were taken to different medical centers.
“The patients are, of course, going through a little bit of a difficult time,” Adolphe Edward, chief executive of El Centro Regional Medical Center, said in the video. “This was a major accident, and we are taking care of them in the emergency room department.”
Imperial County Fire Department and county emergency officials responded to a “mass fatality incident” Tuesday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times. California Highway Patrol officials told CNN the SUV was traveling westbound on Norrish Road when it went “in the direct path” of the truck.
More than a dozen first responders and five fire engines arrived at the scene near Highway 115, the Times reported. The crash happened about 10 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, CNN reported. The highway is currently blocked.