An overcrowded van full of migrants crashed near Encino, Texas, on Wednesday, killing 10 people while traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 281, about 80 miles north of McAllen and the Texas-Mexico border.
The driver of a Ford passenger van was traveling at a high speed in the outside lane when he attempted to turn right, veering off the roadway, according to a preliminary investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). A witness told Texas DPS that the driver struck a metal utility pole and a stop sign. The driver and nine passengers were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, per Texas DPS.
At least 30 people were traveling inside the van at the time of the accident, according to the Brooks County Sheriff Office. Twenty individuals were injured and have been transported to five area hospitals in the Rio Grande Valley.
Sheriff Benny Martinez told CBS News that the van was carrying migrants originating from the U.S.-Mexico border.
Agents from the U.S. Border Patrol’s tactical unit, known as BORTAC, first responded to the scene and helped crash victims, according to Texas DPS.
In March,traveling from Mexico to Southern California died after colliding with a semi-truck. Federal prosecutors charged a 47-year-old U.S. resident for transporting unauthorized individuals into the country.
A 24-year-old Texas man was charged with “transporting illegal aliens resulting in death” after eight people died in a head-on collision in southwest Texas, just weeks later.
Grace Samuelson contributed to this report.