An overloaded pickup truck slammed into trees in rural South Texas Sunday night during an apparent smuggling run, killing at least 14 people and injuring 10.
A white Ford F-250 pickup was heading north on U.S. 59 on Sunday evening carrying 23 suspected illegal immigrants from Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala when it veered off a highway and crashed into trees near Goliad, Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the victims sat crammed inside the truck’s cab and bed.
Investigators say tire failure could have caused the fatal accident.
The driver and eleven passengers, including two girls, died upon impact of the accident; another three died at the hospital.
Crashes of vehicles overloaded with illegal immigrants moving north from the border occur periodically, often as they attempt to evade authorities. Houston is a major hub for migrants seeking to spread out across the country, and jam-packed vehicles transporting them are commonplace along that route, officials say.
Migrants often pay thousands of dollars to be smuggled into the U.S.
According to an ICE spokesman, the 10 survivors remain hospitalized and the agency has yet to interview them to determine their immigration status.