Federal authorities have launched a massive investigation into human smuggling after Tuesday’s deadly crash between an SUV and gravel truck that killed 13 people and injured many others near the California- Mexico border.
According to NBC News, a spokesperson for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that special agents from the Homeland Security Investigations unit are already looking to see if a human smuggling operation had any involvement in the crash.
“The investigation is ongoing, and no further details are available at this time,” the official told NBC News via email.
The deadly crash occurred early yesterday morning when a semi-truck full of gravel hit a 1997 Ford Expedition carrying 25 people. The accident occurred at an intersection just outside of Holtsville, which is known as the carrot capital of the world.
California Highway Patrol identified the semi-truck driver as 68-year-old Joe Beltran of El Centro, California, who survived the crash with major injuries. The 28-year-old SUV driver, a Mexican National, did not survive, nor was he publicly identified.
The Mexican Consulate released a statement that detailed that 10 of the victims were Mexican nationals, while the others killed were of nationalities that have not yet been determined. The victims were a mix of men and women between the ages of 15 to 53, Omar Watson, a border division chief with the highway patrol, told the news. No other details about the crash have been released at this time.