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21 Aliens Hurt in Crash of Stolen Truck

May 16, 1985|From a Times Staff Writer

At least 21 illegal aliens were injured Wednesday when the stolen truck in which they were concealed swerved off a road at high speed and overturned near Rancho California in Riverside County.

Two men were reported in stable condition after treatment for serious spinal injuries at Mission Valley Medical Center at Lake Elsinore and another underwent surgery for a possible fractured skull at Riverside General Hospital-University Medical Center.

Nineteen others--all Mexican nationals 16 to 41 years of age-- were turned over to U.S. Border Patrol agents after treatment at the two hospitals, according to California Highway Patrol Officer John Anderson, who said that 15 moremen were taken into custody at the scene of the accident.

Several others, he said, are believed to have eluded authorities by running into the countryside after the crash.

Anderson said the truck had been stolen a few hours earlier from a construction site in the Carlsbad area in San Diego County.

He said witnesses saw the truck run a stop sign at the intersection of Rancho California and Ynez roads, about 30 miles southeast of Riverside, at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

"The driver began to make a left turn and lost control, hit a curb and went off the roadway," Anderson said. "The truck overturned at least two times and landed upright."

Witness Saw Accident

Moments later, he said, "one witness said he saw all these people crawling through the hatch."

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