Six illegal immigrants in an SUV were reportedly killed and several more injured in a crash in southern Texas following reports that the vehicle had been speeding Tuesday and evaded police pursuit, authorities say.
Officers tried to stop the SUV for speeding at around 10 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to Robstown Police Chief Erasmo Flores. When the vehicle refused to pull over, a chase ensued but police lost track of the vehicle, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reported.
Nueces County Sheriff J.C. Hooper said his office received a call early Wednesday morning from a woman who reported that an injured man had come to her door. Police began a search in the area and discovered two injured men on the side of the road who told officers they had been in a car crash.
Nueces County Sheriff J.C. Hooper gives details on the fatal crash in a cotton field near Farm-to-Market Road 1694 and County Road 44 near Robstown. pic.twitter.com/CrhJikBJJ3
— Monica Lopez (@CallerMonica) June 5, 2019
The SUV that police had spotted and attempted to apprehend earlier in the night had reportedly crashed into a drainage ditch while traveling at 50 mph, according to Sheriff’s Office Capt. Daniel Lorberau.
The Sheriff’s Office said those involved with the crash had entered the U.S. illegally from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. There were six fatal casualties from the crash, five other passengers were critically injured and three more passengers are suspected to have been involved in the crash, according to authorities.
Hopper said incidents such as these happen frequently along Highway 77 in southern Texas because it is near the U.S.-Mexico border, the Caller Times said.
“It has a classic appearance of human trafficking,” Hooper said.
“We are a pipeline. We are on a corridor to Houston, Texas and these first responders deal with it every day,” he continued.
Two of the injured passengers are in Border Patrol custody, the Caller Times noted.