At least 10 people are dead after a van carrying 29 migrants crashed on Wednesday on a highway in Texas, authorities said.
The wreck occurred just after 4 p.m. about 50 miles north of McAllen on U.S. 281 in Encino. The van, designed to hold 15 passengers, was speeding as the driver moved the vehicle off the highway, causing him to lose control and veer into a metal utility pole off the side of the road, according to Sgt. Nathan Brandley of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Brandley said the death toll was initially announced as 11 but was later revised, noting that he believed all the passengers were migrants. He noted the 20 who survived all have serious to critical injuries.
The identity of the victims in the crash were being withheld until relatives could be notified. Information about the van's ownership and registrants has not been released.
U.S. authorities likely encountered upward of 210,000 migrants attempting to traverse the southern border illegally in July, which would amount to the highest monthly number in more than 20 years, according to preliminary apprehension figures released by the Homeland Security Department.
The surge of immigrants entering from the southern border has created an opening for criminal organizations to recruit drivers from cities including Austin, Dallas, Houston, or El Paso to make dangerous runs carrying large numbers of migrants across the border, according to Victor M. Manjarrez Jr., director of the Center for Law & Human Behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso.
"It’s not bad for a few hours’ work," Manjarrez told the Dallas Morning News.
Another deadly crash, involving 25 migrants, happened on March 3 near Holtville, California, where 13 people died in a semitrailer accident.
The Washington Examiner contacted TDPS but did not immediately receive a response.
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Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: At least 10 dead after vehicle carrying migrants crashes in Texas