Coroner identifies couple involved in deadly crash while attempting to escape ICE

DELANO, Calif. - UPDATE (March 16, 2018 5:50 p.m.): The Kern County coroner has identified the man and woman who died in a crash near Delano after attempting to flee from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents. 

35-year-old Santo Hilario Garcia was driving the vehicle that crashed with a utility pole and rolled over in the 29000 block of West Cecil Avenue in Delano.  

33-year-old Marcelina Garcia Profecto was the passenger in the vehicle. 

A postmortem examination will be performed on both Profecto and Garcia to determine their cause and manner of death. 

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The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has responded to a deadly crash that happened Tuesday morning in Delano. ICE said the man who died in the crash matched the description of the person they were looking for, but was not the same individual. 

According to Delano police, Santo Hilario Garcia, 35, and Marcelina Garcia Profecto, 33, died early Tuesday morning in Delano after attempting to escape from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents.

At about 6:54 a.m. Delano Police officers responded to a call about an overturned vehicle on West Cecil Avenue.

They found an SUV on its roof with two people inside. Investigators found that the vehicle was traveling westbound on Cecil Avenue at a high rate of speed. The driver drove into the dirt shoulder and lost control.

The car overturned and hit a pole. Both the male and female occupants were pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators with DPD found that before the crash happened, federal ICE agents attempted to pull them over. The driver pulled over but drove away once the agents got out of their car.

ICE said deportation officers went to a home looking for an arrest target. Hilario Garcia walked out of a home and matched the description of the person they were looking for, but officials said he was not the same individual. 

ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley issued 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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