Six die, 31 injured in US crash

Six people were killed and 31 injured when a van carrying illegal immigrants smashed head-on into two other vehicles as it went the wrong way on an US interstate with its headlights off.

Six people were killed and 31 injured when a van carrying illegal immigrants smashed head-on into two other vehicles as it went the wrong way on an US interstate with its headlights off.

The driver was apparently attempting to avoid an immigration checkpoint.

The Dodge van, loaded with immigrants from Mexico and Brazil, sideswiped two cars and then collided with a Ford Explorer about 15 miles north of the Mexican border on Monday night, the California Highway patrol said.

The Explorer flew over a guardrail and down an embankment, killing its driver. The van then crashed head-on with a Toyota van.

The driver of the Dodge van and four passengers were killed, the Highway Patrol said. Their identities were not known since most people in the van did not have identification, Officer Steve Lopez said.

Thirty-one people, most suffering minor injuries, were taken to hospitals. One woman remained in serious condition yesterday.

The remote area, about 45 miles east of San Diego, is commonly used by smugglers driving vehicles crammed with illegal immigrants.

The Border Patrol maintains a checkpoint on the highway, Interstate 8, about three miles from the accident site.

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