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Man pleads guilty in Point Loma boat crash that killed 3 migrants

Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-06 20:21:14-04

POINT LOMA, Calif. (CNS) — A man who piloted a boat that crashed near Point Loma during an apparent human-smuggling operation, leading to the deaths of three people and injuries to more than two dozen others, pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges.

Antonio Hurtado, 40, was indicted by a grand jury in connection with the May 2, 2021, crash that killed 41-year-old Maria Eugenia Chavez-Segovia, 35- year-old Maricela Hernandez Sanchez and 29-year-old Victor Perez Degollado.

Hurtado, who authorities alleged was steering the vessel that capsized about 50 yards from the shore around 10 a.m., was hospitalized along with 29 others.

According to court documents, migrants who were aboard the boat said they paid between $15,000 and $18,500 to be smuggled into the United States and identified Hurtado as the vessel's captain.

Hurtado also pleaded guilty to a count of assault on a federal officer for striking a Border Patrol agent in the head with his knee after he was arrested.

He was set to go to trial next month in connection with the fatal crash prior to entering guilty pleas Wednesday in San Diego federal court