Hospitalized victims of Imperial County crash identified as residents of Mexico, Guatemala 

Officials on Thursday released the names of the surviving victims who remain hospitalized in Southern California hospitals following a multi-fatal crash near the US-Mexico border in Imperial County earlier this week. In the horrific collision, a Ford Expedition carrying 25 passengers collided with a semi-truck, claiming the lives of 13 people.

Those who survived suffered moderate to major injuries, including three teenagers. Imperial County officials said the driver of the SUV was 22-years-old. 

The collision occurred on the morning of Tuesday, March 2 on the intersection of Highway 115 and Norris Road in the city of Holtville, which is located roughly 125 miles east of San Diego. 

California Highway Patrol said the big rig hauling two empty trailers was traveling northbound and that the maroon SUV was traveling westbound. It was unclear if the SUV came to a stop at a stop sign on Norris Road. Authorities also clarified the SUV was not being chased by law enforcement.

The driver of the Peterbilt was identified as 68-year-old Joe Beltran of El Centro, California. He is being treated at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs with major injuries. 

Below is a list of the victims and where they are currently being treated for their injuries: 

UC San Diego Medical Center, San Diego
• Rene Zelando, 30, of Nayarit, Mexico (major injuries) 
•  Berti Orozco, 21, of Guatemala City, Guatemala (major injuries) 
• Zeterina Mendoza, 33, of Guerrero, Mexico (major injuries)
• Camilio Rodriguez, 44, of Santa Maria Del Oro, Mexico (major injuries) 

Scripps Mercy Hospital, San Diego
• Jose Martinez, 16, of Guerrero, Mexico (major injuries)
• Berlin Cardona, 46, of Guatemala City, Guatemala (major injuries)

El Centro Regional Medical Center, El Centro, Calif. 
• Darlin Liliana Robledo, 20, Tapachula, Mexico (moderate injuries) 

Pioneers Memorial Hospital, Brawley, Calif. 
• Avelardo Nava, 18, of Guerrero Mexico (moderate injuries) 
• Manuel Rufino, 39, of Oaxaca, Mexico (moderate injuries)

Desert Regional Medical Center, Palm Springs, Calif. 
• Jorge Gutierrez Martinez, 24, residence unknown (major injuries)
• Esteban Montiel, 22, residences unknown (major injuries)
• Jane Doe, 15, residence unknown (major injuries) 

Hours after the crash, ICE confirmed with FOX 11 that federal agents were investigating for possible human smuggling.


• Deadly crash involving SUV carrying 25 people prompts human smuggling investigation, ICE confirms

• Questions remain on how 25 people fit inside Ford Expedition involved in Imperial County crash

Immigration officials also revealed the SUV entered California through a section of the border fence with Mexico that was cut away, allegedly by smugglers.


• SUV involved in deadly Imperial County crash came through hole in border fence

• Trump slams Biden on border, White House says it doesn’t take immigration ‘advice’ from him

Officials have not identified those who were killed in the heartbreaking crash. 

The investigation is ongoing. 

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