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DPS names 3 killed in crash during human smuggling pursuit in Pinal County

Three men killed in a crash on I-10 near Picacho last week have been identified.
Three men killed in a crash on I-10 near Picacho last week have been identified.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 3:47 PM MST|Updated: Apr. 29, 2022 at 6:27 PM MST
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PICACHO, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The three men killed in an SUV head-on crash on Interstate 10 last week have been identified. On April 21, Kevin Avila, 18, was driving an SUV on I-10 westbound carrying eight people when an officer tried to stop him near Eloy. He sped away into the dirt median, rolled the vehicle, crossed into the eastbound lane, and crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer. Two people died at the crash site, and several were taken to Tucson and Phoenix hospitals, where one person later died.

Alexis Miguel Fuentes De La Cruz, 22, Omar Ortiz-Ramirez, 36, and Raúl Carranza-Alonso, 39, have been identified as the three men who died from their injuries, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. All three men were citizens of Mexico. Four of those hospitalized in the SUV have been released, and one remains in the hospital. The tractor-trailer driver and a box truck driver injured in the crash have also been released.

Avila faces three charges of first-degree murder, seven counts of endangerment, and seven counts of aggravated assault. The Department of Homeland Security believes that Avila may have been involved in what they describe as “attempted human smuggling activity.”

The three who were killed in a crash between an SUV and a tractor-trailer on Interstate 10 have...
The three who were killed in a crash between an SUV and a tractor-trailer on Interstate 10 have been identified.(KOLD)

Since the accident, family members of those who died or were injured in the crash have been working to bring them home. “What was my nephew’s purpose?” one family member whose nephew died in the crash asked. “Well, to pursue a dream, but you never know that a dream can lead you to death.” The Mexican Consulate in Tucson says they are continuing to reach out to the families of those in the crash.