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A collision between a crowded vehicle and a heavy truck killed at least 15 people this Tuesday morning in southern California. “We believe there were 27 passengers in the SUV which crashed into a semi-trailer full of gravel,” said Judy Cruz, emergency manager at El Centro medical center, which took in some of the victims of the ‘accident. According to her, at least fourteen passengers died at the crash site and another after being taken to her hospital, where six other people were admitted to the emergency room.

At least five other victims of the collision, which occurred in circumstances still undetermined, were evacuated by helicopter to other hospitals in the region, said Judy Cruz during a press briefing on the internet.

According to a member of the California Highway Police, Jack Sanchez, interviewed by USA Today, the SUV involved in the accident is a Ford Expedition, a model that according to the manufacturer’s website can accommodate a maximum of eight passengers.

According to the emergency services, the accident occurred shortly after 6 a.m. on National Highway 115, near Holtville, about ten kilometers north of the border between the United States and Mexico. The first images of the collision broadcast by local media show a heavy truck embedded in the side of a large burgundy-colored SUV, apparently registered in California. The cab of the truck is almost intact, but the other vehicle, although still on its four wheels, appears to be badly damaged.

The driver of the truck suffered “multiple injuries” according to the traffic police.

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