Suspected human smuggler crashes pickup into gas pumps following chase in south Bexar County

Crash sparks small fire at Exxon gas station near I-35 and Loop 1604

SAN ANTONIO – A suspected human smuggler is facing a list of charges after a chase and crash Thursday in south Bexar County.

The 26-year-old driver from Georgia was injured in the crash, officials said.

Sgt. Orlando Moreno of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the incident began around 8 a.m. in Frio County, where deputies tried to stop a pickup that they suspected was carrying people believed to have entered the country illegally.

DPS troopers joined in the chase along Interstate 35 and followed the truck to south Bexar County.

Troopers keep watch over passengers from the truck who are suspected undocumented immigrants. (KSAT 12 News)

The pickup crashed into a pump at a gas station near I-35 and Loop 1604, knocking the pump off its base and sparking a small fire.

“The driver had a head injury and couldn’t get far enough away from the flames or the vehicle and had to be assisted by a trooper,” Moreno said.

The trooper helped to drag the injured driver away from danger. He was taken to University Hospital by ambulance.

The passengers got out of the wrecked truck and tried to run away, but DPS troopers and Bexar County sheriff’s deputies ran after them and caught them all.

One passenger also suffered injuries and was taken to a hospital.

“The other seven passengers in the vehicle are suspected to be undocumented immigrants and will be handed over to the border patrol,” Moreno said. “All are adult males.”

Moreno was not able to say right away from what country they came from.

He said the charges against the driver are expected to include evading arrest, attempted assault on a peace officer for allegedly trying to ram a patrol car and human smuggling.

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