At least five people were killed and several others injured when an SUV believed to be carrying undocumented immigrants crashed in southern Texas after being chased by Border Patrol agents.
The Chevrolet Suburban rolled over several times on a highway in Big Wells, Texas, around 12 p.m. local time on Sunday following a high-speed pursuit, officials told reporters.
The SUV was carrying 14 people ― 12 of whom were ejected upon impact. Officials said they believe the driver and passenger are both U.S. citizens. The driver was not seriously injured and taken into Homeland Security custody, Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd told reporters.
“The vehicle was traveling around 100 miles an hour,” Boyd said. “The vehicle ran off the road and caught gravel and then tried to recorrect and then caused the vehicle to turn over several times.”
Four people believed to be undocumented immigrants were pronounced dead on the scene with a fifth pronounced dead after being transported to a San Antonio hospital. Officials have not yet released information about the immigrants’ countries of origin.
Boyd said such an incident was “not unusual at all,” adding that his deputies are involved in high-speed pursuits related to human smuggling or drug trafficking on a daily basis.
“We’ve seen this many, many times and not only in this county but other counties along the border,” he said. “This is I think a perfect example of why our borders need to be secured. It endangers American lives as well as those people from Mexico or other countries coming here for whatever reason they’re coming. It is a major problem.”
Representatives for both U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story referred to Border Patrol as Border Control.