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UPDATE: Deadly Calif. crash on route for illegal border crossings

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (AP) --Authorities are investigating whether human smuggling was involved when an SUV packed with 25 people slammed into a tractor-trailer in a remote California desert, killing the driver and 12 passengers near the Mexican border.

Seats of the 1997 Ford Expedition were removed, making room for more people.

At least 10 who died in Tuesday's crash were from Mexico. The area became a major route for illegal border crossings in the late 1990s after heightened enforcement in San Diego pushed migrants to more remote areas.

El CENTRO, Calif. (AP) -- Authorities say a semitruck has crashed into an SUV carrying 25 people on a Southern California highway, killing 13 people.

The head of the California Highway Patrol says 12 people died at the scene Tuesday and another died after arriving at the hospital.

Hospital officials earlier reported there were 15 killed and more people in the SUV.

Multiple people from the SUV were flown or sent to hospitals for injuries that included fractures and head trauma.

Authorities say it's unclear if the SUV had stopped at a stop sign before crossing into the path of the semitruck, which hit the vehicle.

El CENTRO, Calif. (AP) -- Hospital officials say an SUV believed to be carrying 27 people crashes into a semitruck in Southern California, killing 15 people and leaving others injured.

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

Officials believe there were 27 passengers in an SUV that struck a tractor-trailer full of gravel.

Multiple patients have been flown to hospitals for their injuries. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

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Associated Press

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