BAKERSFIELD, CA (KGET) – Santos Hilario Garcia, the man killed in a crash in California as he and another woman tried to escape agents, was not the man ICE agents were looking to arrest.
Lori Haley, an ICE spokesperson, provided details as to what happened leading up to the crash.
On March 13, ICE officers arrived to a home believed to belong to a previously deported Mexican citizen. According to ICE officials, a man who matched the description of their arrest target got out of that home and got into a vehicle. The statement then says, officers attempted to stop the driver but the car drove away at a high speed.
Officers then, the statement says, found the overturned car and notified Delano police. The crash occurred in the 3000 block of West Cecil Avenue just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Garcia and another woman, identified as Marcelina Garcia Profecto, both died in the crash.
According to ICE, Garcia was a resident of Mexico, had previously been deported three times between 2008 and 2017 and had a DUI conviction in 2014.
“Garcia Profecto had no prior encounters with ICE,” Haley said in the statement.
Delano police continue to investigate the crash, but haven’t released additional details.
On Wednesday, UFW President Arturo Rodriguez told KGET’s Kristin Price the couple left their home Tuesday morning, searching for work and at some point were pulled over.
“When they learned they were ICE agents, because of their legal status, they became very scared and as a result they took off and eventually had a crash here on Cecil avenue,” he said.
Family members said Santos Hilario Garcia and Marcelina Garcia Profecto had been in the United States for 15 years, were farmworkers and had six children ranging in age from 8 to 18 years old.