A mother and father in Delano, California were killed in a car crash early Tuesday morning while fleeing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Newsweek reports, after officers mistook the father for another Mexican citizen they planned to arrest.
At around 7 a.m. that morning, ICE agents first arrived at the home of Santos Hilario Garcia, 35, and Marcelina Garcia Profecto, 33. ICE officers mistook Garcia for a Mexican citizen they were seeking to arrest after the couple got into their SUV and headed out to look for work on farms. When ICE agents attempted to stop the SUV, the driver of the vehicle initially pulled over before speeding away, after the agents began to exit their unmarked vehicle.
The Delano Police Department said that the driver lost control of the SUV while speeding away, veered onto a dirt shoulder, and then rammed into a power pole. When ICE agents caught up with the vehicle, they saw that it had flipped onto its roof, and they immediately called 911, ICE spokesperson Jennifer Elzea told Newsweek. The couple were pronounced dead at the scene.
On Wednesday, the United Farm Workers (UFW) labor union President Arturo Rodriguez held a press conference at the scene of the tragic accident, where he confirmed that the late couple left behind six children between the ages of eight and eighteen.
"Marcelina and Santos left their home yesterday morning, just going out and looking out for work," Rodriguez told reporters. "They wanted to provide for their six children."
ICE confirmed that Garcia was not the man they had originally planned to arrest, but a spokesperson for the agency said that Garcia, originally from Mexico, had voluntarily returned to the country three times between 2008 and 2017, and was removed from the country last year.
Since the crash, dozens of mourners have gathered on the road where the couple died to leave flowers, prayer candles, and other mementos in remembrance of the late couple.
[Photo: Getty Images]