Border Crisis

Three Dead After Suspected Migrant Smuggler Crashes During Texas Police Pursuit near Border

A United States citizen and two suspected migrants are dead after the driver of a Nissan sports utility vehicle lost control and crashed on Tuesday evening. The unidentified driver of the vehicle was fleeing sheriff’s office deputies from Dimmit County, Texas.

Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle on Texas Highway 85 near Carrizo Springs, Texas. A law enforcement source close to the investigation says the driver of the vehicle lost control and rolled several times, ejecting several of the six passengers.

At the scene, officers found three people deceased. Two of the dead are suspected migrants, and one is a United States citizen who authorities suspect may be involved in the smuggling endeavor. Several other passengers suffered serious injuries in the crash and were taken by life-flight to a San Antonio hospital for further treatment.

According to the source, who was not authorized to speak to the media, the driver was apprehended and is now facing multiple felony charges related to the case. The case remains under investigation by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The crash occurred nearly 50 miles from the border city of Eagle Pass, Texas, and is along a corridor notoriously used by migrant smugglers.

The source says the smugglers continue to push their luck on isolated two-lane highways, hoping to get away from the Border Patrol and law enforcement officers by driving as fast as they can to make distance from the border. “There is no bright side to this event, but at least no innocent civilians were killed in the crash,” the law enforcement source explained. “That doesn’t bring back those killed in this vehicle, but this could have been much worse.”

In neighboring Zavala County, a similar crash killed eight people in November 2023. A suspected migrant smuggler and five migrants were killed after the vehicle they were using to flee from law enforcement officers collided with a vehicle carrying two innocent motorists from the state of Georgia. The two involved motorists from Georgia also lost their lives in that event.

Despite a reduction of more than 50% in migrant crossings in April 2024 when compared to April 2023 in the Border Patrol’s Del Rio Sector of the border, which includes Dimmit and Zavala counties, Mexican cartel smugglers are still active. The reduction in crossings is part of a joint agreement between Mexico and the United States. It is focused primarily on reducing the flow of migrants who quickly surrender to the Border Patrol hoping to be released into the United States to pursue lengthy asylum claims.

According to the source, those being smuggled on border highways by the cartels are migrants who realize they face immediate expulsion and will not be released into the United States.

Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol.  Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.

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