Thirteen passengers in a pickup truck being chased by U.S. Border Patrol agents were involved in a rollover crash on Interstate 8 in East San Diego County Tuesday night.
Border Patrol agents in marked vehicles chased a Black Chevrolet Silverado after the driver refused to pull over, according to the California Highway Patrol. Following a high-speed chase, the truck driver appeared to have exited the freeway at Buckman Springs Road then abruptly traveled back into the main travel lanes.
At about 6:15 p.m., the truck driver lost control of the vehicle and drove across I-8 then onto a dirt median, where the Chevrolet rolled over until it came to a stop, CHP said.
Twelve passengers believed to have been unrestrained on the bed of the truck were ejected from the vehicle. They all suffered moderate to major injuries and were taken to several hospitals in San Diego County.
One of the passengers was taken away from the scene in a helicopter. The rest were taken to area hospitals by ambulance, according to Cal Fire spokesperson Frank Lococo.
Authorities suspect the driver of the truck was the only occupant in the vehicle's cabin. That individual has been in custody by U.S. Border Patrol.
Lococo noted the truck typically has enough seat belts for five passengers. Alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor in the crash.
The names of the truck driver and the vehicle's occupants have not been released.
Westbound lanes were blocked at the crash site for around 90 minutes, according to Caltrans. Then shortly before 11 p.m., the CHP closed the westbound freeway again for further investigation. Traffic was being diverted to Kitchen Creek Road.