2021 Imperial County car crash

Coordinates: 32°49′58″N 115°24′22″W / 32.83273°N 115.40614°W / 32.83273; -115.40614
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Imperial County car crash
Crash site is located in southern California
Crash site
Crash site
Crash site (southern California)
Crash site is located in California
Crash site
Crash site
Crash site (California)
Crash site is located in the United States
Crash site
Crash site
Crash site (the United States)
DateMarch 2, 2021 (2021-03-02)
Time~6:15 a.m. PST[1]
LocationImperial County, California, U.S.
Non-fatal injuries13

On March 2, 2021, an SUV carrying 25 people collided with a semi-trailer truck in Imperial County, California, U.S., killing 13 people. Investigators said the SUV had entered the United States from Mexico through a hole in a border fence and was smuggling migrants at the time of the crash.


The Ford Expedition, as found at the crash site, had the middle and rear seats removed, and could only safely seat six people despite carrying 25 people.[2]


In the early morning of March 2, 2021, a red 1997 Ford Expedition carrying 25 passengers and originating from Mexico, having entered the United States through a hole in the border fence,[3] was traveling westbound on Norrish Road in Imperial County, California. It entered an intersection, where a semi-trailer truck travelling north on the other road, State Route 115, crashed into the side of it, killing 13 people and injuring 13.[1] According to authorities, the SUV ran the stop sign and drove in the path of the truck.[3] The occupants of the SUV entered the United States in an unauthorized manner.[4] The truck was carrying gravel cargo, and was owned by a company called Haven & Sons.[5]


The accident closed all lanes in both directions of SR-115.[6] The National Transportation Safety Board announced an investigation into the crash.[7] Authorities in California are working with the Mexican consulate to determine who was in the vehicle and to notify next of kin.[8] The US Department of Homeland Security believes that it was part of an illegal migrant smuggling operation.[3][9] In March 2023, Jose Cruz Noguez pled guilty to a charge of conspiracy to bring in undocumented migrants and three counts of bringing in undocumented migrants for financial gain in connection with the crash.[10]


  1. ^ a b Toropin, Konstantin; Chan, Stella; Levenson, Eric. "More than a dozen dead in crash involving SUV and semitruck in California near US-Mexico border". CNN. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  2. ^ Hauck, Grace; Atagi, Colin; Hayes, Christal (March 2, 2021). "'Very sad': At least 13 dead after truck slams into SUV carrying 25 near U.S.-Mexico border". USA Today. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c Spagat, Elliot (March 3, 2021). "SUV in deadly Southern California crash came through hole in border fence: Border Patrol". ABC11 Raleigh-Durham. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  4. ^ "After deadly Imperial County crash, what about the hole in the border fence? - YouTube". www.youtube.com. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  5. ^ Brown, Richard Montenegro (March 2, 2021). "13 Dead in 'Gruesome' Accident North of Holtville". Calexico Chronicle. Retrieved March 2, 2021.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Caltrans San Diego [@SDCaltrans] (March 2, 2021). "#ImperialValley All lanes of NB & SB SR-115 at Norrish Rd closed due to a traffic collision" (Tweet). Retrieved March 2, 2021 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "U.S. safety board to probe California highway crash that killed 13". Reuters. March 2, 2021. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  8. ^ Levenson, Eric (March 2, 2021). "More than a dozen dead in crash involving SUV and semitruck in California near US-Mexico border". CNN. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  9. ^ "Suspected migrant smuggler charged in connection with Imperial County crash that killed 13". March 31, 2021. Retrieved May 10, 2021.
  10. ^ https://abc7.com/crash-mexicali-el-centro-pleads-guilty/12989085/

32°49′58″N 115°24′22″W / 32.83273°N 115.40614°W / 32.83273; -115.40614