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2 die in van, bus collision west of Brawley

thought to be immigrants

January 30, 2001|By MARCY MISNER, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Two women suspected to be undocumented immigrants were killed in a van this morning north of here after the driver of the van pulled in front of a farm labor bus.

California Highway Patrol officers said the full-sized passenger van was heading east on Kalin Road when it pulled in front of a farm labor bus heading north on Highway 86 about 6 a.m. Officers were still at the scene this morning trying to determine if the van was crossing Highway 86 or turning onto the highway.

County Chief Deputy Coroner Sgt. Rick Macken said several of the van's occupants were ejected when the bus struck the rear of the van. Two women in the van were killed.

Macken said the women had not been identified as of this morning, but he was following a lead that may identify one of the women killed in the collision.

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Several people in the van, suspected to be illegal immigrants, fled after the crash, officials said. Officers think there could have been about eight people in the van. U.S. Border Patrol agents were tracking the people this morning. The agents were headed north from the crash scene about 8:30 a.m.

There were 40 or more people in the farm labor bus at the time of the crash, said Highway Patrol Officer Roland Pritchard. None was thought to be injured. The bus is owned by Seaside Custom Harvesting Co. of Brawley. The farm workers got onto another bus after the crash.

Staff Writer Mario Renteria contributed to this story.

Marcy Misner can be reached at 337-3441.

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