2 dead in crash attempting to escape ICE agents in Central California

2 dead in crash attempting to escape ICE agents in Central California

2 dead in crash attempting to escape ICE agents in Central California

A couple fleeing immigration officials that pulled them over in Delano (Kern County) were killed when their SUV crashed and rolled over early Tuesday, police said.

Authorities said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents stopped a sports utility vehicle they thought contained a suspected illegal immigrant on Tuesday morning near Delano but it sped away, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The vehicle had been traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver drove onto the dirt shoulder and lost control, according to the department.

Santos Hilario Garcia, 35, and Marcelina Garcia Profecto, 33, stopped after a auto turned on its emergency lights and pulled them over, according to police in Delano, which is part of Kern County.

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United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez said the couple worked as farm workers and had six children between the ages of 8 and 18.

It was not clear from Delano police reports whether the ICE agents who pulled over the SUV were in an unmarked vehicle.

The spokesperson said Garcia was originally from Mexico and had voluntarily returned to the country three times between 2008 and 2017. The vehicle overturned and eventually hit a power pole, police said. Garcia Profecto had "no prior encounters with ICE", Elzea said.

"This awful tragedy is the direct result of ICE's inhumane tactics and the fear it provokes in hardworking people who stand to lose everything if they are deported", said Jennie Pasquarella, the group's director of immigrants' rights, according to KRON.

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The ICE agents were searching for a Mexican citizen who had been deported, according to agency spokeswoman Lori Haley.

Garcia and another woman, identified as Marcelina Garcia Profecto, both died in the crash.

The Delano Police Department said officers responded to the crash scene at the 3000 Block of West Cecil Avenue shortly before 7am on Tuesday. But when they saw Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents get out of the vehicle, the driver fled.

"This incident demonstrates just how risky ICE's unlawful practices are to our communities", Pasquarella said. "This disgusting tragedy is the direct result of ICE's inhumane tactics and the fear it provokes in hardworking people who stand to lose everything if they are deported". These raids occur as President Donald Trump's administration ramps up its fight against undocumented immigrants.

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The deadly incident comes amid a crackdown by ICE on undocumented immigrants in California.

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