Eighteen people have been killed after a truck struck a crowd on a highway in western Guatemala. The crowd had reportedly gathered on the road following an earlier hit-and-run accident.
A large truck crashed into a crowd of people gathered on a highway in Guatemala on Wednesday night, killing dozens and leaving bodies scattered on the road.
Eighteen people died in the crash, with another 15 people being treated for injuries at local hospitals.
The semi-trailer truck fled the scene after the accident, which took place near the town of Nahuala, located west of Guatemala City.
The crowd of people gathered on the highway after an earlier hit-and-run accident killed a local resident when they were struck by the truck, local fire department spokesman Cecilio Chacaj said.
"It seems that the semi-trailer did not notice the number of the people on the roadway and ran them over," said Chacaj.
President Jimmy Morales offered his condolences to the victims' families and said his government was working to coordinate aid to those affected.
"At this time we are coordinating our response to bring full support to the relatives of the victims," Morales wrote on Twitter. "My heartfelt condolences."
The crash was one of the worst traffic accidents to happen in Guatemala in recent years. In 2013, a bus fell off a cliff in rural Guatemala, killing 43 people.
rs/rt (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)