UPDATED: 2 killed in crash while fleeing from ICE agents

Mourners gather around a memorial near the site in Delano, Calif., where two people died in a crash Tuesday, March 13, 2018, while fleeing federal immigration agents. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

NOTE: This story was originally published Tuesday, March 13, but the below version was updated Thursday morning.


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Two people were killed in a crash Tuesday morning while fleeing federal immigration agents in Delano, police said.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement said its officers arrived at a home to arrest a "previously removed Mexican citizen." ICE said a man matching the target's description came out of the house and drove away.

The agents turned on their emergency lights and pulled the vehicle over. When the agents got out of their vehicle to approach the man's vehicle, the man sped away, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley said.

Delano police said the driver crashed the vehicle shortly afterward, around 7 a.m. on West Cecil Avenue. The driver went onto the dirt shoulder, lost control and flipped the SUV, police said.

A man and woman in the SUV were killed in the crash. They were identified by authorities as 35-year-old Santo Hilario Garcia and 33-year-old Marcelina Garcia Profecto.

The United Farm Workers told Eyewitness News that they were married and had six children between the ages of 8 and 18.

According to ICE, the driver, Santos Hilario Garcia, matched the description of the target, but he was not the target.

Santos Hilario Garcia had been "voluntarily returned to Mexico" several times, had been subject to "expedited removal" and had a previous DUI conviction, ICE said.

Police are handling the crash investigation.

An ICE spokeswoman released the following statement:

"On March 13, ICE deportation officers arrived at a residence believed to belong to a previously removed Mexican citizen. A male matching the target’s description exited the residence and entered a vehicle. Officers performed a vehicle stop by activating their emergency equipment and as they attempted to engage the driver, the vehicle drove away at a high rate of speed. As the officers departed the location of the attempted engagement, they came across the overturned vehicle and immediately dialed 911 for assistance. Local officials were on the scene moments later. Both the driver and passenger in the vehicle passed away. The male driver was identified as Santos Hilario Garcia, a citizen of Mexico, who was voluntarily returned to Mexico three times between 2008 and 2017 and was removed under the provisions of expedited removal in 2017. Hilario’s criminal history includes a 2014 DUI conviction. The female passenger was identified as Marcelina Garcia Profecto. Garcia Profecto had no prior encounters with ICE."
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