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Accidental border crossing: car crashes into California

As anyone living near the US-Mexico border can tell you, border control is serious business. In many southern states, there are entire units of both certified and volunteer officers dedicated to monitoring the crossing point. On Tuesday morning, these border control agents witnessed an unusual sight: a car crossing the US border above Tijuana not on purpose, but as the result of an accident.

The three passengers were driving along Ensenada Highway in northern Tijuana when reports say their vehicle was hit by a sedan, propelling them off the road. After a long fall down an embankment, the damaged vehicle finally came to a rest. However, it was now on the US side of the border, skimming past the marker by 40 yards.

Members of both the local border patrol and the National Guard noticed the crash and went to investigate the scene. When they arrived, they saw that, while the driver of the vehicle avoided major injury, his two passengers were in far worse condition. The two were later transported to a San Diego hospital by the paramedics.

The situation brings up interesting questions about accident liability along national border areas. What if, instead of landing at the bottom of the embankment, the victim's car had tumbled into someone's house, or even an unexpecting bystander? Would American citizens be able to file for property damages or wrongful death as a result of an accident originating in Mexico?

While this Tuesday's accident is clearly an unusual occurrence, it demonstrates one of the many complications that can arise while seeking compensation after a car accident. Since one accident can result in thousands of dollars of damages, it is important for victims to seek professional advice if they're confused about how best to handle the after-effects of a crash.

Source: Sign On San Diego online, "Car accident starts in Tijuana, ends in U.S." Pauline Repard, 26 January 2011

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