A Truck Carrying Immigrants Crossing the Border From Mexico Flipped Over on a U.S. Highway

Nineteen undocumented immigrants were taken into custody after a truck pulling a horse trailer flipped over in California on an interstate Saturday near San Diego. The truck was in the middle of smuggling people into the U.S. about 15 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border when the accident occurred.

As the driver lost control while maneuvering the truck, the trailer detached and fell onto its side. People inside the Ford F250 truck were injured, but the immigrants fled because of their legal status, running from the vehicle and hiding in nearby brush and rocks. The trailer was empty by the time first responded arrived at the scene of the crash.

"The difficulty is you have individuals that have been involved in an accident, a rollover accident, and when they fled the scene, they don't want to be found," California Fire Battalion Chief Kurt Zingheim told local reporters.

A sheriff's office helicopter rescued one man in a nearby canyon. Four men and two women, including one person with a gashed head, were taken to a local hospital for treatment. The other immigrants were taken into custody by U.S. Border Patrol agents. All of the people in the trailer were Mexican nationals.

"When you have patients that are hiding in rugged terrain, it takes a while for an organized search to locate them," Zingheim said.

Department of Homeland Security figures show the number of people entering the U.S. illegally by crossing the border was the lowest last year since 1971. But immigration seems to be surging under President Donald Trump, who has vowed to crackdown on human smuggling. In March, the U.S. stopped 50,308 unauthorized migrants at the border. That's the highest number since Trump entered the White House, and more than double compared with the same period in 2017, shortly after President Barack Obama left the Oval Office.

.@CALFIRESANDIEGO is at scene of a multi-patient traffic collision on westbound I-8 at Crestwood Rd. All lanes are open. An air ambulance has been requested.#CrestwoodIC pic.twitter.com/eG80UO9hBg