SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Several people were rushed to the hospital Saturday following, what appears to be, a human smuggling attempt.
A horse trailer carrying more than a dozen people flipped over on Interstate 8 near Crestwood Road in Boulevard, prompting Cal Fire to declare the accident a mass casualty scene.
“The units arrived on scene. We brought it to an MPI. At first we didn't know how many patients we would have made contact with. As soon as our number started to grow we went ahead and upgraded the incident to an MCI,” said Battalion Chief Kurt Zingheim with Cal Fire.
Initially rescue workers didn't find anyone at the scene.
A witness told the California Highway Patrol they saw about 20 people run into the brush.
“A search quickly found six of the 20 that needed medical assistance,” said Zingheim.
One of those injured was a pregnant woman who was flown out by a medical chopper.
Another was hiding injured in a remote area so deputies used Copter 11 to hoist them out and take them to an ambulance at the forest service station.
Four others were transported by ambulance.
“When you have patients who don't want to be found, who are hiding in rugged terrain, it takes a while for an organized search to locate them, assess them and bring them up to the highway here to be treated or to be placed in custody with the border patrol agents,” explained Zingheim.
Everyone was given a triage tag to wear around their neck based on the severity of their injuries.
Twelve people were arrested by Border Patrol at the scene. Some were handcuffed together until they were searched and placed into a waiting vehicle.
Border Patrol agents reported that all the individuals were in the country illegally.
Initial reports revealed that 18 people were inside the trailer, which was being pulled by a Ford F250 pickup truck. According to the California Highway Patrol, the truck’s top was ripped off after it overturned. The driver of the pickup truck pulling the trailer escaped.
Del Mar racing fans had a different reason to cheer on Saturday. This time it was for Martine Bellocq.
Deserts will dry out over the weekend, monsoonal moisture returning by Tuesday. Weekend temperatures slightly warmer as the high moves over the region, bringing in drier air. Beach conditions to improve Saturday. Water temperature slightly cooler than last week.
A man who fired a gun and threatened customers at a Fallbrook bar early Saturday morning was thwarted by patrons who tackled him and held him until law enforcement could arrive, a San Diego County sheriff's deputy said.
A man is suspected of crashing his car into a Skyline home and fleeing before being apprehended by police early Saturday morning.
The San Diego team in the Alliance of American football announced the signing of former San Diego State offensive tackle Terry Poole, a fourth-round choice by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 NFL draft, and nine other players.
A San Diego man with a prior conviction for the same offense was sentenced in federal court to more than 3 1/2 years in prison for his admitted role in a human-smuggling attempt that seriously injured a U.S. Border Patrol officer.
San Diego County Sheriff's Deputy Richard Fischer is free Friday night after posting $2 million bail. He is accused of groping and assaulting more than a dozen women while on duty.