A 15-year-old girl driving a car with undocumented migrants hiding in the trunk crashed while running from a Texas state trooper Thursday morning during a suspected smuggling attempt in West El Paso, authorities said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety said that several people were injured when the fleeing car collided with two other vehicles at the intersection of North Mesa Street and Osborne Drive.
The incident started about 10 a.m. when a state trooper attempted to pull over a blue Mercury Grand Marquis for an expired registration near Montoya Drive and Post Oak Court in the Upper Valley, the DPS said in a statement.
The car slowed down and three people ran into the nearby neighborhood. The trooper was able to arrest a male driver, but the Mercury was gone by the time the trooper returned to his patrol vehicle, officials said.
A short time later, another DPS trooper found the Mercury at a gas station near Doniphan Drive and North Mesa Street. The Mercury took off when the trooper attempted to stop it, shortly before the car accident occurred a couple of blocks up North Mesa.
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Several migrants were found inside the trunk of the car, which was driven by a 15-year-old girl, who is a U.S. citizen, the DPS stated. U.S. Border Patrol took custody of the migrants as an investigation continues.
The Texas DPS did not issue information regarding injuries. Channel 9-KTSM reported that one person was taken to a hospital in critical condition and eight others were taken to hospitals with minor injuries.
The North Mesa traffic accident is part of a string of recent human smuggling vehicle interdictions in El Paso's Upper Valley and Southern New Mexico.
Last week, a Juárez driver was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide after two people died when an SUV carrying 12 people fled from the Border Patrol and rolled over in a crash in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, during a suspected human smuggling attempt just outside El Paso.
Jorge Garcia-Vazquez, 24, and Guadalupe Cruz-Vazquez, 18, both from Mexico, died at the scene after they were thrown from the Chevrolet Tahoe in the crash. The driver, Julio Garcia Rascon, 19, and nine passengers were injured.
This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: Texas DPS car chase of girl smuggling migrants ends in El Paso crash