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Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2006

Authorities identify some immigrants involved in crash

February 23, 2006

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— One man remained in critical condition Wednesday, a day after a pickup truck carrying 19 illegal immigrants crashed in southwest Kansas, killing three people and injuring 16.

The accident happened Tuesday morning, when an F-150 Ford pickup truck carrying 19 people rolled in the ditch after its left rear wheel came off on U.S. Highway 56 near Rolla, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.

More details have since emerged about the passengers - all of them Mexican nationals - as authorities had more time to overcome language barriers. Among those injured in the accident were three children, identified by the Highway Patrol as 3-year-old Manuel Aleman, 15-year-old Jose Antonio DeJesus-Tejas and 17-year-old Issac Mendez-Valdivia. The patrol did not release the hometowns of those involved in the crash.

Names of the three passengers who died also have not been released, although the Mexican consulate has been notified to contact next of kin. They were identified only as three men, ages 23, 32 and 35.

The patrol identified the driver as Juan Carlos Sorcia-Rico, 22.

One passenger, Felix Vera-Cruz, age unknown, remained in critical condition Wednesday at a Wichita hospital, where he was airlifted after the accident.

Other passengers were identified as Pedro Santiago Montalvo, 60; Mariza Aleman-Aguirre, 23; Pedro Antelmo Flores-Cruz, 29; Benjamin Fuentes, 36; Alfonso Martinez-Japez, 34; Francisco Navarro, 39; Leon Lorenzo-Cruz, 28; Jose Ruperto-Gaspar, 28; Jose Ruperto-Zarco, 27; Jesus Galarza, 35; and Alfonso Calderon, 44. No hometowns were listed.

Nine people were riding in the truck's cab - four on the front seat, four in the back seat with one on the floor between the seats, the Highway Patrol said. The remaining 10 passengers were in the truck's bed.

Five people were at Morton County Hospital on Tuesday in stable condition, but their conditions were not immediately available Wednesday. The other injured passengers were treated and released.

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