Imperial Valley, California (April 26, 2021) Thirteen traveling immigrants were killed when the 1997 marron Ford Expedition that they were traveling in was struck by a Peterbilt semi-truck carrying 25 people. The accident happened just after 6 am, in the Imperial Valley region, which is known to be a large agricultural area as well as a heavy immigration corridor for travelers. The driver of the semi-truck that struck the Ford Expedition was 68-year old Joe Beltran, a California resident. He survived and was treated at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.
While the identities of the 13 dead are being withheld pending family notification, The survivors are:
Avelrado Nava, 18, of Guerrero, Mexico
Manuel Rufino, 39, Oaxaca, Mexico
Darlin Liliana Robledo, 20, Tapachula, Mexico
Rene Zelando 30, Nayarit, Mexico
Berti Orozco, 21, Guatemala
Zeterina Mendoza, 33, Guerrero
Camilo Rodriguez, 44, Santa Maria Del Oro, Mexico
Jose Martinez, 16, Guerrero
Berlina Cardona, 46, Guatemala City
Jorge Guitierez Martinez, 24, nationality unknown
Esteban Montiel, 22, origin unknown
Jane Doe, 15, nationality unknown
Investigators are still contacting the families of the deceased and will release names as they become available.
“Sadly, there are no words that can comfort all family members and friends as they cope with such tragic loss,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all parties affected in this tragedy as they try to piece together what happened.”
The incident is still under investigation and information is still being released at the time. It is unknown at the time whether alcohol or drugs was a factor in causing this tragedy.