Immigration officials have opened a “human smuggling” investigation into Tuesday’s deadly crash along the US-Mexico border in Southern California involving an SUV carrying a group of undocumented immigrants.
The collision happened when a red Ford Expedition carrying 28 people was T-boned on the driver’s side by a tractor-trailer — killing at least 15 people — shortly after 6:15 a.m. off Highway 115 in Imperial County, authorities said.
The Mexican Consulate in Calexico confirmed that at least 10 of those killed are Mexican nationals. Law enforcement and hospital officials said they were in contact with the Mexican Consulate to help identify the other three victims and track down family members.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the SUV was transporting the migrants across the border.
“Special Agents from Homeland Security Investigations San Diego responded to the scene of today’s fatal crash in El Centro, California, and have initiated a human smuggling investigation,” an ICE official told The Post.
The official declined to comment further as to what led the agency to believe human trafficking was suspected, but noted that the probe is ongoing.
The passengers in the SUV ranged in age from 15 to 53. The 28-year-old driver from Mexicali, Mexico was also among those killed.
The 68-year-old driver of the semi-truck, who’s from El Centro, was hospitalized with moderate injuries, officials said.
With Post wires