A suspected migrant smuggler and seven others are dead after a collision in rural Texas.
The incident occurred on US Highway 57 near the farming community of Batesville, and left two innocent Americans dead, local authorities said.
The early-morning crash happened some 50 miles from the border around 8am local time, and state officials later revealed the pair hailed from Georgia. Both were in the front seat of an SUV struck by the suspected smuggler’s vehicle.
That car, cops said, had been evading arrest from the Zavala County Sherriff’s Office just before the crash – which happened as it attempted to pass an 18-wheeler in a no-passing zone.
DPS Troopers later confirmed that several of the deceased – including the aforementioned smuggler – were from Honduras. In a statement, officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety said their investigation was ongoing.
Sharing photos of the two totaled vehicles, Lieutenant Chris Olivarez of the department said: [Texas DPS] is investigating a two-vehicle fatal crash on US 57 near Batesville.
‘The driver in a Honda passenger car from Houston suspected of human smuggling was evading from Zavala COSO when the driver passed an 18-wheeler in a no-passing zone,’ the officer added.
‘The driver drove head-on with a Chevy SUV, causing the vehicle to burst into flames, killing the driver & passenger from Georgia.
‘As a result, five passengers, including the suspected smuggler of the Honda, were killed.
‘Troopers confirmed several of the deceased are from Honduras. Identities will be released once the next of kin is notified,’ the department spokesperson added.
‘This is still an ongoing investigation.’
While still being vetted, the crash killed all involved, cops confirmed – and also caused an explosion at the scene that was captured in a photo.
The stretch of highway remained closed for more than three hours following the crash, which comes less than six months after another human smuggler found himself in a fatal wreck on the very same road.
In that case, cops from the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office said that two men – both believed to be migrants – when the SUV they had been inside collided with a semi-tanker truck that had been hauling fuel.
Much like the more recent incident, the crash created a fiery explosion – though both the driver of the confirmed smuggling vehicle and and the semi managed to survive, and afterwards were transported to a trauma hospital in San Antonio.
The parties involved this time were not so lucky, though as of 3:35pm ET, none of them have been named.
Olivarez, however, did confirm that six people had been inside the five-seater Honda at the time of the crash, while the two from Georgia were in the Chevrolet.
Everyone in each vehicle was killed, officials also confirmed – sharing photos of each laying in ruins at the scene, with the SUV visibly burnt out.
Cops did not say whether the migrants were still alive when the car was engulfed in flames – a scene that was also shared by Olivarez in a post to X, formerly Twitter.
The crash – one of several involving either suspected or confirmed migrant smugglers – remains under investigation.