4 immigrants killed, 3 injured following chase, crash in South Texas

Suspected human smuggling incident happened in Encinal near Laredo

Four immigrants were killed and two were critically injured in what a Texas Department of Public Safety official called “another deadly human smuggling event.”

ENCINAL, Texas – Four immigrants were killed and three were injured in what a Texas Department of Public Safety official called “another deadly human smuggling event.” Two of the injured suffered critical injuries.

According to DPS Staff Sgt. Erick Estrada, at around 8:42 a.m., a white Jeep traveling north on Interstate 35 was evading US Border Patrol and took an exit at a high rate of speed, losing control and rear-ending a parked semi-trailer at a Love’s Stop in Encinal.

Two of the deceased were from Guatemala, one from Mexico, and one who has yet to be identified. The injured were from Guatemala, Mexico and the US, who is believed to have been the driver, Estrada said.

DPS spokesman, Lt. Chris Olivarez, tweeted that the suspected smuggler who was driving the vehicle was airlifted to a hospital.

Olivarez also said this was the second deadly human smuggling event within 24 hours.

On Wednesday, Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens tweeted that 10 migrants were discovered locked inside a tractor-trailer.

“We often speak of the deplorable tactics & complete disregard that smugglers have for human life,” he tweeted.

The fatalities come on the same week that dozens of immigrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer on a remote stretch of road on San Antonio’s southwest side.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.