An overloaded van, which was traveled by about 30 people, crashed on a highway in South Texas on Wednesday. Nine passengers and the driver are killed, and 20 people are injured, local police said, quoted by Reuters. Illegal migrants were transported in the van, according to the authorities.
The accident occurred on Wednesday at around 4 p.m. local time on Highway 281 in Encino, Texas, about 80 kilometers north of McAllen. Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez said the car, designed for 15 passengers, was going too fast and was too heavy. The driver lost control of a bend, the vehicle ran off the road and hit a metal pole by the highway.
Martinez noted that the van had not been pursued by the police. According to the sheriff, illegal migrants were transported there
Sergeant Nathan Brandley of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the accident killed 10 people, including the driver, and the rest of the passengers were hospitalized. Some of the injured are in critical condition – he added. Earlier, 11 fatalities were reported.
The identity of the victims is not known yet. So is the information about the van – where it was registered and who owns it.
Smuggling of illegal migrants
Encino is a community of approximately 140, living about three kilometers south of Falfurrias, the Mexican border checkpoint.
The sharp increase in the number of immigrants crossing the border illegally has increased the number of vehicle accidents overloaded with immigrants paying large sums to smuggle into the country, writes The Dallas Morning News. According to the newspaper, the recruitment of young, inexperienced drivers for smuggling, combined with speeding and reckless driving, lead to horrific accidents.
Main photo source: ENEX