Hospital: SUV carrying 27 crashes with semitruck, killing 15

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In this image from KYMA law enforcement work at the scene of a deadly crash involving a semitruck and an SUV in Holtville, Calif., on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (KYMA via AP)

El CENTRO, Calif. (AP) — An SUV believed to be carrying 27 people crashed Tuesday into a semitruck in Southern California, killing 15 people and leaving others injured, hospital officials said.

Judy Cruz, director of El Centro Regional Medical Center’s emergency department, said 14 people died at the scene and another died after arriving at the hospital.

Officials believe there were 27 people in an SUV that struck a tractor-trailer full of gravel. Multiple patients were flown or transferred to hospitals for their injuries.

“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 southeastern corner of California on a highway running through fields in the Holtville area, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) 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.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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