U.S. Citizen Smugglers, Illegal Aliens Killed In SR79 Head-On

Eight people are dead after a two-vehicle, head-on collision on SR79 that occurred on Wednesday, September 19, at 9:57 p.m.

According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the preliminary investigation revealed that a Chevy Suburban, with nine occupants, was traveling northbound on SR 79 when it was struck head-on by a Buick passenger vehicle traveling southbound.

It is unknown why the southbound Buick went left of center and collided head on with the Suburban.

Of the nine occupants in the Suburban, the driver, front seat passenger and four additional passengers were killed as a result. Three other passengers are at area hospitals with serious to life-threatening injuries. The driver and front seat passenger are U.S. citizens and the additional seven occupants are undocumented immigrants. Troopers are working with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to attempt to identify and make next-of-kin notifications, which will take time to complete.

Both the driver and front-seat passenger in the Buick were also killed.

SR79 is a route frequently used by human and drug smugglers.