Ten people were killed – including the driver – and 20 people were taken to area hospitals after a van which was traveling at a high speed crashed on Highway 281 near Encino, a town of about 140 people, in South Texas, about 55 miles north of the border town of McAllen, Wednesday afternoon. The driver tried to make a right turn and “veered off the roadway and struck a metal utility pole and stop sign.” The van Wednesday did not appear to be involved in a pursuit. At least a portion of the people in the van were believed to be undocumented immigrants, authorities say. Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez said the van was overloaded as it was designed to hold 15 passengers.
Sgt. Nathan Brandley of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the 20 who survived the crash all have serious to critical injuries.Investigators still have to notify the Mexican consulate and the next of kin. Earlier this year in March, at least 13 people, including the driver, died after an SUV packed with at least 25 undocumented migrants collided with a semi-truck near the U.S.-Mexico border in California. „We will find and prosecute smugglers who use these methods and cause such tragic and avoidable deaths,” Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a March statement. But such tragic events continue to happen.