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Mexican consulate gives update on Imperial County crash survivors

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Posted at 4:22 PM, Mar 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-05 21:31:53-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The Mexican consulate in San Diego shared new details on Friday about the survivors of Tuesday's collision in Imperial County that killed 13 people during a suspected human smuggling attempt.

“They are in a delicate but stable situation,” said Consul General Carlos González Gutiérrez who confirmed that the youngest patient in San Diego is a 16-year-old boy from Mexico. He reportedly has major injuries.

Gutiérrez’s office has reportedly been working with border agents to get emergency clearance for the boy’s mother to come see him.

RELATED: Questions raised after 13 people killed in Imperial County crash

“We helped his mother to cross on a humanitarian visa in order to be with him,” he added.

The boy and a woman from Guatemala are reportedly being treated at Scripps Mercy.

Four others are reportedly being treated at UC San Diego with major injuries including two men and a woman from Mexico and another woman from Guatemala.

Six others reportedly went to hospitals outside of San Diego, including a 15-year-old Jane Doe.

RELATED: CBP: SUV in Imperial County crash entered US through border fence breach

Officials say that the victims were migrants who were being smuggled across the border and that the SUV had been stripped of nearly all of its seats. A total of 25 people were reportedly inside when it was struck by a big rig.

Investigators say that the SUV was one of two seen on surveillance video going through a hole in the border fence that morning. The other SUV reportedly caught fire, but those who were inside of it made it out safely and were detained.

“Border Patrol's word is not enough,” Alliance San Diego's Executive Director Andrea Guererro told ABC 10News on Thursday. The immigrants’ rights group said that although border agents deny any involvement in what led to the crash, there are still questions about whether there was a chase.

RELATED: Multiple people dead after SUV, big rig collide in Imperial County

Agents maintain that they were not in pursuit of the SUV.

“Border Patrol has said that they were not chasing this van but I have not had direct contact with Border Patrol about this case because that's the responsibility of our consulate in Calexico,” said Gutiérrez.

On Friday, a representative with the Mexican consulate in Calexico said that they have no knowledge of a chase.

Part of a statement on Wednesday from El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino reads, "Human smugglers have proven time and again they have little regard for human life. Those who may be contemplating crossing the border illegally should pause to think of the dangers that all too often end in tragedy; tragedies our Border Patrol Agents and first responders are unfortunately very familiar with."

Borders agents told ABC 10News on Friday that they have no updates to provide on the crash.