13 killed in California highway collision

The Department of Homeland Security is conducting a human smuggling investigation after an SUV carrying 25 people crashed with a semi-truck near the Mexico border killing more than a dozen people.
2:08 | 03/03/21

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Transcript for 13 killed in California highway collision
And not as deadly as it has been. Robin. The crash near the Mexico border that killed 13 people, a semi truck colliding with an SUV packed with more than two dozen homeland security is now investigating if this was a human smuggling operation. Kaylee Hartung is in palm Springs, California, with the details. Good morning, Kaylee. Reporter: Good morning, as the California highway patrol chief told me here it's unfathomable how 25 people could be crammed into one SUV that's only supposed to fit nine people safely and now U.S. Customs and immigration services are involved in the investigation as we learn at least ten of the victims were Mexican nationals. This morning, at least 13 people dead after this horrific crash between the Ford ex-pe decision and a semi truck near the california/mexico border. We need as many ambulances as you can handle. Reporter: The department of homeland security conducting a human smuggling investigation. 25 people were packed inside the SUV early Monday morning when officials say it pulled directly into the path of the big rig hauling two gravel trailers. What do you see as the biggest challenge in this investigation. The biggest challenge is again identifying who all the folks were in those vehicles and note fighting the next of kin. Reporter: Several seats taken out to fit the extra passengers. First responders finding 12 people dead at the scene including the 28-year-old driver of the SUV. Another person died after being rushed to the hospital. At least ten of the victims confirm to have been Mexican Some of the victims were ejected from the vehicle. So it was a pretty chaotic scene. Reporter: Several of the 13 survivors quickly airlifted to hospitals across the region. They were a bit confused what happened. They -- some of them were talkative and were able to communicate to us a little bit of a story. The range of injuries are head trauma, orthopedics, a lot of orthopedic injuries. Reporter: The 68-year-old driver of that big rig, he survived. He's hospitalized at desert region Nall medical center able to speak with investigators. The FBI director sounding

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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