Accident on Highway 59 Ends in Arrests
AUSTIN, TX – There is a long stretch of highway that begins in Laredo and runs beyond Houston. Traffic stops are not uncommon along this stretch of road, and many involve illegal immigrants who try to run from the police once their vehicle is stopped.
Last Thursday, one such incident took place. Unfortunately, what began as a simple traffic stop ended with six lives lost. Just after a vehicle was stopped, its driver took off, fleeing from the police, eventually losing control. The vehicle, filled with immigrants, flipped over several times, ejecting people along Highway 59.
According to reports, a 2003 Ford Explorer was being used by a human smuggling ring. The driver was attempting to transport 12 immigrants, all adult and all undocumented. The immigrants were from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. This information was provided by a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The driver, identified as an American citizen, died at the scene. Two of the other people killed are through to be members of the smuggling ring. Upon searching the vehicle, law enforcement officials discovered that it had been modified to fit more people. The middle seat of the Explorer had been removed, and the back seat was folded down.
In total, four people were pronounced dead at the scene. Two others passed away after being transported to a Houston hospital. Several people attempted to run away from the scene of the accident but were apprehended.
Just last year, the State Department of Public Safety reported that human smuggling is on the rise in Texas. In just two years, the apprehension of undocumented immigrants rose by 94 percent. From 2011 to 2013, Texas law enforcement officials arrested 243,550 people in border sectors.
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