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6 killed in Idaho crash were agricultural workers from Mexico, officials say

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IDAHO FALLS, Idaho. (AP) — Six people killed when a pickup crashed into a passenger van in Idaho on Saturday were agricultural workers from Mexico, officials said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico said in a news release that the van passengers were all agricultural workers from Mexico who were in the U.S. on H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker visas, the East Idaho News reported Thursday.

The crash happened early on May 18 when a pickup crossed the centerline on U.S. Highway 20 and hit the van in Idaho Falls, according to Idaho State Police. The van’s driver and five passengers died at the scene.

Bonneville County Coroner Rick Taylor identified the victims as Abel Mejía Martínez, 43, Pedro Manuel Alcantar Mejía, 26, Brandon Ponce Gallegos, 24, Jose Guadalupe Sánchez Medina, 20, Luis Enrique Sereno Perez, 32 and Javier Gomez Alcantar, 36.

Nine other passengers in the van and the pickup’s driver were hospitalized, police said.

Signet, the company that employed the workers, is collecting donations on GoFundMe and donated $10,000.

“Our hearts are heavy with grief as we mourn the loss of six beloved members of our team who tragically lost their lives in a devastating car accident on May 18th in Idaho,” the organizers wrote. “Alongside this profound loss, nine of our colleagues were left with injuries, their lives forever changed by the events of this day.”

The money raised will be donated to those who were hurt and to each family of those who died, the GoFundMe page said.

The company didn’t immediately respond to a request from The Associate Press seeking comment on Thursday evening. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Signet owned the van that crashed or whether the van had seat belts.

Signet has provided construction services for projects of all sizes since 1994 and has an agricultural division, according to the company’s website.

The Mexican Consulate in Boise has said it will help the families of the deceased.

Earlier this month in Florida, a pickup truck crashed into a bus carrying farmworkers from Mexico, killing eight of the workers.