An 11-year-old girl died in a fiery crash after a vehicle slammed into a line of cars at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in Pine Valley, Southern California, authorities said.
A 2013 Toyota Camry traveling approximately 70 mph on I-8 did not appear to brake as it approached a line of cars waiting just east of the checkpoint at Buckman Springs just after 9 p.m. Sunday, California Highway Patrol officers said.
The 11-year-old girl was trapped in the back seat of the Lexus and died in the fire, officials said. An uncle who tried to pull her from the vehicle "has major burns as a result," CHP spokesperson Brian Pennings said.
Two adults and two children were rushed to area hospitals, authorities said. Pine Valley is about a 30-mile drive to the U.S.-Mexico border at Tecate.
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The Camry struck a Lexus being driven by a woman from Long Beach and pushed it into a Honda Pilot being driven by an El Cajon man. At the point of impact, the Lexus burst into flames, witnesses told the CHP.
“They were trying to get her out and unfortunately was unable to do so as the vehicle was engulfed in flames,” said Pennings. Her uncle “has major burns as a result of his efforts to try and get her out."
From the Lexus, the 18-year-old driver was taken to UCSD Medical Center with moderate injuries, CHP said.
The Camry driver was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital and two children inside that vehicle were taken to Rady Children's Hospital. All suffered major injuries, CHP officers said.
Five people inside the Honda were not hospitalized.
The Camry driver, identified as a 29-year-old woman from San Diego, will face manslaughter charges, CHP officials said.
While alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors in this crash, Pennings said it appears it may have been inattention that led to the collision.
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