Crash highlights risks of human smuggling

14 killed, 7 injured in single car crash

GOLIAD, Texas - In the wake of the overnight crash in Goliad County that killed 14 people and sent 7 more to the hospital, a disturbing trend continues along Texas’ southern border.

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All 23 people were all riding in the same pickup truck, and DPS troopers said most were being illegally smuggled into the United States.

The crash highlights the risks of human smuggling.

Very little is known about the victims, as their identities have not yet been released. Troopers did say the majority were from Honduras.

The crash appeared to be the result of a faulty tire, causing the driver to crash.

“They’ll use any type of vehicle, whatever they can get the most people in,” said Rusty Fleming, a border expert.

He said trucks like the Ford F-250 involved in this crash are often outfitted to fit too many, because smugglers are paid per each person they get across the border.

“A pickup like this one -- overweight, with too many people in it -- that’s just a recipe for disaster,” said Fleming.

But save for a tragic death toll, this crash is not unique.

In April, nine illegal immigrants were killed after the van they were being smuggled in flipped.

It’s something that’s been happen more and more along Texas’ southern border.

“We continue to see these guys have serious accidents, rolling vehicles over trying to escape the pursuit of law enforcement,” said Fleming.

Although Sunday’s crash did not involve a chase, it did highlight the risks of smuggling; people taking their lives in their hands for a chance to make it into the United States.

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