Authorities in Texas said that at least eight illegal immigrants have died in a head-on collision in Val Verde County, Texas—located near the U.S.-Mexico border—following a high-speed chase.
Eight people were confirmed dead at the scene. Texas Department of Public Safety officials told the outlet that they are all undocumented. The fatal crash happened at around 1:30 p.m. Monday nearly 30 miles north of Del Rio, KSAT reported.
Officials told the outlet that troopers were chasing a red pickup truck on U.S. 277 when it collided with a white Ford F-150 truck.
“Due to injuries sustained, eight undocumented passengers from the Dodge pickup were pronounced deceased on scene,” the Department of Public Safety told the outlet. “The driver and a child passenger from the Ford pickup and one undocumented passenger from the Dodge pickup were transported to a hospital in San Antonio and are in stable condition.”
Other details about the incident are not clear.
Several weeks ago, in Southern California, officials said that more than a dozen illegal immigrants were killed following a collision with another vehicle. Immigration authorities confirmed that the SUV, which was carrying about 25 people, entered the United States from Mexico in early March via a hole in the border fence.
“We pray for the accident victims and their families during this difficult time,” said El Centro Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gregory Bovino in a news conference on Wednesday. Agents, he said, believe the deceased individuals were part of a larger group of about 44 migrants who were smuggled through a hole in the fence near Calexico, a California city that lies along the border and is next to the Mexican city of Mexicali.
Bovino added that an “initial investigation into the origins of the vehicles indicate a potential nexus to the aforementioned breach in the border wall,” while adding that “human smugglers have proven time and again they have little regard for human life.”
In recent weeks, the number of migrants attempting to enter the U.S. via Mexico has surged to levels not seen in 20 years, said Department of Homeland Security Chief Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday.
U.S. border agents conducted about 100,000 apprehensions or rapid expulsions of migrants at the border in February, officials have said.
The Epoch Times has reached out to the U.S. Customs and Border Enforcement agency for comment.