Truck slams into crowd on highway in Guatemala; 30 dead

Truck slams into crowd on highway in Guatemala; 30 dead

Truck slams into crowd on highway in Guatemala; 30 dead

At least 32 people have died after a large truck struck a crowd gathered on at separate road accident in western Guatemala.

According to Cecilio Chacaj, a spokesman for the local volunteer firefighters, the group had gathered on the road around the body of a person who had been killed in an earlier crash when the truck drove through them.

The driver fled the scene in his truck and his whereabouts are unknown. Chacaj later told a Guatemalan radio network and French news agency AFP that 18 deaths were confirmed, but that multiple people were being treated for serious injuries.

The truck was apparently travelling without its headlights on.

The alleged driver of the yellow-striped black and white vehicle was identified as 28-year-old Pedro Rene Lorenzo Lopez. Photos showed bloodstains, shoes and other debris on the asphalt amid yellow police tape.

Morales said authorities were working to support the victims' families as he offered "heartfelt condolences".

"At this time we are coordinating our response to bring full support to the relatives of the victims", Morales wrote on Twitter.

Hundreds of people crowded around the morgue, located near a market, as heartbroken families took possession of coffins and bore them to a fleet of nearby pick-up trucks and cars.

He added that investigators were initially prevented from getting to the scene by angry residents and relatives of the victims, but were given access after opening a dialogue with community leaders.

Local reports said the man killed in the first accident was a community leader and president of the state Council of Urban and Rural Development.

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