At Least 13 Dead After SUV Carrying 25 People Collides With Gravel Truck in Southern California

The crash occurred early Tuesday in rural California.
California authorities are investigating the gruesome crash in a rural area of Imperial County.CBS News

The SUV was carrying 25 people when it collided with a gravel truck in Imperial County, California, authorities said.

At least 13 are dead after a SUV ferrying 25 people collided with a gravel truck in a farming area of California's Imperial County, authorities said.

A dozen others were being treated at area hospitals following Tuesday's early morning crash.

The horrific incident occurred at State Route 115 and Norrish Road, just north of the Mexican border, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The dead included Mexican citizens and ranged in age between 20 and 55, authorities said. The ages of the injured ranged from 16 to 55.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the CHP said. The driver of the gravel truck sustained moderate injuries, officials said.

"At this point it's unknown whether or not the Expedition stopped at the stop sign, but it did enter the intersection in front of the big rig," CHP Border Division Chief Omar Watson told reporters at the scene. "Subsequently the big rig collided with the left side of the Ford Expedition.

"Obviously that vehicle is not meant for that many people," Watson said of the SUV. "It's unfortunate that number of people were put into that vehicle because there's not enough safety restraints to safely keep those people within the vehicle. There were numerous people that were ejected into the roadway as a result of this collision."