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Guatemalan and Mexican Nationals Among Survivors of Holtville Deadly Crash

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (KYMA/KECY) - Word of the deadly crash still runs amongst residents, questions continue to be raised and survivors feel the pain of aching wounds with a side of grief.

An SUV packed with 25 passengers slammed into a tractor-trailer in a rural desert of Imperial County, killing 13 of the 25.

Amongst the 12, 46-year-old, Berlin Cardona, a mother now grieving the loss of her 21-year-old daughter Berti Orozco, believed to of had died at the hospital.

"I know my daughter is now resting, but my heart is in pieces, I have to move forward with my life," said Cardona. "My daughter was my motivation, she used to tell me 'you are strong and that's why I am strong' ."

California Highway Patrol (CHP) released only the identities of survivors Thursday night, many still remain at hospitals in Imperial, San Diego, and San Bernardino counties.

9 Mexican nationals, 1 from Guatemala, and 3 remain to be identified; that single Guatemalan is Cardona. Ages range from 15 - 46 years old, one of the unknown survivors is a 15-year-old girl.

Investigations have now opened up as it is believed by authorities that the truck entered the U.S. illegally carrying the handful of passengers.

Carmina Ramirez is one of the many Imperial Valley activists memorializing the dead, beginning with the placement of a permanent vigil at the crash site and continuing with a massive memorial that will stretch along a significant part of the U.S.-Mexico border.

"In San Ysidro and Playas de Tijuana vigils are also held," said Ramirez. "Showing respect for the suffering of the families of the dead, migrants that have attempted to cross."

Starting Friday evening, 12,000 crosses will be placed along the border wall that divides the southern border from San Diego to Calexico and Tecate to Mexicali. Each cross symbolizing the countless deaths of migrants attempting to cross the border since 1994.

Imperial County / Local News / News / Video

Christian Galeno

Christian Galeno joined KYMA/KSWT in July of 2019 as a Weekend Anchor and multimedia journalist.

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