At least 15 people killed in vehicle crash in Southern California
(Reuters) - At least 15 people were killed on Tuesday in a collision between an SUV and a tractor trailer truck in Southern California, about 10 miles (16.1 km) north of the Mexican border, hospital officials said.
The crash, on State Route 115 near El Centro, California, involved a sport utility vehicle carrying 27 people and a truck hauling gravel, officials at El Centro Regional Medical Center told a news briefing.
Some 14 people died at the scene while another person died at the El Centro Regional Medical Center, the director of the hospital's emergency room, Judy Cruz, said in the briefing, posted on Facebook.
Three patients were flown to other hospitals from the scene of the crash, and seven more were brought to El Centro. One more person died at the hospital, bringing the total to 15, she said.
Officials offered few additional details.
"The patients are going through a little bit of a difficult time as you can imagine," said Adolphe Edward, chief executive officer of El Centro Regional Medical Center.
The truck driver suffered minor injuries, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol told the Los Angeles Times.
An Imperial County Fire Department official told the Los Angeles Times that the agency responded to a mass fatality incident at 6:16 a.m. local time.
(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Chicago and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)
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