SUV carrying 27 people collides with lorry in California, killing 15

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash
SUV carrying 27 people collides with lorry in California, killing 15

The scene of a deadly crash in Holtville. Picture: KYMA via AP

An SUV believed to have been carrying 27 people has crashed into a lorry in southern California, killing 15 people and leaving others injured, hospital officials say.

Judy Cruz, director of El Centro Regional Medical Centre’s emergency department, said 14 people died at the scene – which is about 11 miles north of the US-Mexico border – and another died after arriving.

Officials believe there were 27 people in an SUV that struck a tractor-trailer full of gravel.

Multiple patients were sent to hospitals for their injuries, including four flown to Desert Regional Medical Centre in Palm Springs, spokesman Todd Burke said.

Three were in intensive care, he said.

“The patients are, of course, going through a little bit of a difficult time, as you can imagine,” said Dr Adolphe Edward, the El Centro hospital’s chief executive officer.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash in the agricultural south-eastern corner of California on a highway running through fields in the Holtville area, about 100 miles east of San Diego.

Officials from the Holtville and Imperial County fire departments, as well as the California Highway Patrol spokesperson for the area, could not immediately be reached.

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