Florence, AZ (September 19, 2018) – 2 Arizona residents and Guatemalan immigrants were among the 8 killed in a deadly crash near Florence, late Wednesday night, September 19th. The collision occurred on Arizona Highway 79, involving an SUV and a Buick, according to officials. Investigations have not determined whether the SUV was being used for a smuggling operation, but court records indicate the driver and passenger have been previously convicted of immigrant-smuggling charges.
The SUV contained seven other passengers besides the pair, all Guatemalan men determined to be in the U.S. illegally. The driver and passenger, identified as Rodney and Kathleen Palimo, were killed in the crash along with 4 of the 7 immigrants. The conditions of the other men are unknown. The driver of the Buick, identified as 41-year-old Angel Meza of Eloy, and his passenger, 33-year-old Nicole Vidal, were unfortunately also killed in the collision. Authorities report that the two vehicles were driving in opposite lanes when the Buick veered into the path of the SUV, striking it head-on.
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