- Deputies: Man, woman tried to arrange killing of his estranged wife (5/21/17)1
- Former coroner convicted of felony theft now faces prison in misdemeanor case (5/23/17)2
- Police: Woman arrested after meth found hidden in pants (5/26/17)2
- Cape police say man assaulted, kidnapped girlfriend (5/21/17)2
- Woman may lose foot after being hit by moped (5/24/17)
- Illinois Trail of Tears site where Cherokee buried named to National Historic Register (5/24/17)
- Two men face charges in Cape prostitution sting (5/28/17)
- Business notebook: Woman, sister-in-law buy Perryville custom-wear shop (5/22/17)
- Police apprehend Charleston man they say hit Cape woman with car (5/24/17)
- Broadening horizons: Heartland Dream Team founder stays committed to area youth (5/21/17)2
Two immigrants killed near Mexico border after chase
SAN DIEGO -- California Highway Patrol officers did not know a stolen pickup truck was loaded with more than 20 suspected illegal immigrants when they decided to stop it with spike strips, the department said Monday.
Two people were killed and 20 injured Sunday when the driver swerved around a spike strip, slammed into the center divide and rolled the pickup onto its side, tossing passengers onto the pavement.
"We did not know it had that many people inside of it," said CHP Officer Brian Pennings.
Authorities were trying to determine whether the victims were illegal immigrants, but their nationalities were not immediately confirmed.
The crash on Interstate 8 in El Cajon, east of San Diego, prompted immigrants-rights groups to renew calls for the Border Patrol and CHP to stop high-speed pursuit of vehicles that could be overloaded with people.
"Lessons never seem to be learned," said Claudia Smith of the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation. "This is a replay, virtually, of the previous deadly crashes."
On Jan. 9, a truck packed with 17 people was being pursued by the Border Patrol when it crashed into a bridge abutment. Two women died at the scene and a third died from her injuries a week later.
In October, another chase east of San Diego ended in a crash that killed two men and injured 19 other people. Last June, six people were killed when a van carrying 27 immigrants drove the wrong way on Interstate 8 to avoid an immigration checkpoint and collided with oncoming cars.