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Ocotillo, CA Van And Trailer Truck Crash, Mar 1974

CALLIFORNIA CRASH KILLS 14, INJURES 6.

Ocotillo, Calif. (AP) - The panel van was packed with illegal aliens who had been caught north of the Mexican border and were being driven across the Southern California desert for deportation.
Several similar runs are made each day, but one on Friday ended in disaster.
The California Highway Patrol said the van drove off Interstate 8 on an upgrade a few miles west of here and smashed into the rear of a large refrigerated truck that had been parked on the shoulder so the driver could rest.
Fourteen men were killed and six were injured seriously, said Imperial County Sheriff's Sgt. John Cauzza.
He said 12 of the victims - including the van driver, ALBERT FELD of El Centro, Calif., a U.S. Immigration Service detention officer - were killed on impact, one alien died en route to a hospital and another died after he was admitted.
Highway patrolmen said the cause of the crash wasn't known but there were no skid marks, indicating the driver hadn't tried to stop before hitting the truck while traveling about 50 miles an hour.
The border patrol said the passengers in the vehicle had been arrested recently at various places in California and assembled in El Centro, about 40 miles east of here.
They were to have transferred to another vehicle at Jacumba, just west of Ocotillo, and driven to patrol headquarters in Chula Vista south of San Diego, where they would have been deported to Mexico.
Because of a heavy influx of illegal aliens in the Imperial Valley recently, several such trips are made each day, a patrol spokesman said.
The driver of the other truck, who was not identified, said he had pulled onto a rest stop at the shoulder of the road to nap and was jarred awake by the crash. He was uninjured.

The Courier Waterloo Iowa 1974-03-10

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