Two migrants are dead after an alleged human smuggler led El Paso Sector Border Patrol agents on a pursuit Saturday evening. Agents apprehended 10 migrants who survived the crash and the U.S. citizen driver.
El Paso Sector agents received information about suspicious behavior involving a minivan near mile marker 131 on Highway 9 in New Mexico. As the agents arrived on the scene, they attempted to stop the minivan by using their emergency lights and siren. The driver failed to yield and drove away, according to information obtained from El Paso Sector Border Patrol officials.
The chase lasted about 11 miles before additional agents responded and attempted to stop the vehicle by utilizing a controlled tire deflation device. The driver apparently saw the device and attempted to swerve to avoid it, officials stated.
As a result of the evasive action, the driver lost control and the vehicle rolled. The rollover crash ejected two of the 13 people packed into the eight-passenger minivan. Agents quickly began administering emergency medical care but the two migrants died, officials stated.
Inside the van, agents found 11 more people including the U.S. citizen alleged human smuggler. The agents called for assistance from the New Mexico State Police, Border Patrol emergency medical technicians, and a U.S. Coast Guard team assigned to the Santa Teresa Station.
A Dona County medical examiner pronounced the two migrants who were ejected deceased. Emergency medical teams transported five of the injured migrants to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The surviving migrants will be processed according to El Paso Sector guidelines. The driver, a 27-year-old male U.S. citizen, will be turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for possible prosecution on human smuggling resulting in death charges.
Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility will also investigate the incident, officials stated.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for the Breitbart Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face