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Van Packed with Migrants Crashes Near Encino, Texas, Killing 10

An overcrowded van packed with migrants crashed near Encino, Texas, yesterday afternoon, tragically killing 10 people and sending 20 others to hospitals across the Rio Grande Valley.

15-Passenger Van Flipped with 30 People Aboard

The August 4th accident occurred shortly after 4:00 p.m., as the 15-passenger Ford van was traveling north at a high rate of speed along U.S. Highway 281.

According to Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez, the overcrowded and top-heavy van flipped over as the driver lost control of the vehicle while navigating a curve at the intersection of U.S. 281 and Business 281, just south of the Falfurrias U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint. Witnesses reported that the van careened off the road and smashed into a metal utility pole.

At least 30 people were aboard the van when it crashed. Authorities believe all passengers were undocumented migrants on a trip that originated somewhere along the Texas-Mexico border.

20 Passengers Suffered Serious and Critical Injuries

It’s not known why the van was speeding just before it crashed. According to authorities, neither the Border Patrol nor the Department of Public Safety was in pursuit of the vehicle.

Sadly, the driver and 9 passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. Twenty people were transported to five area hospitals with serious and critical injuries.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is working with the Mexican consulate and U.S. Border Patrol to identify the victims and their nationalities. The identities of the deceased will be released once authorities have notified their next of kin.

Texas Van Cash was 3rd Involving Migrants Since March

Sadly, this wasn’t the first time a vehicle packed with migrants was involved in a deadly accident this year.

In early March, 13 people crowed into an SUV traveling from Mexico died when the vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler in Imperial Valley, California. A 47-year-old U.S. resident is now facing federal charges in connection with that crash.

Eight people were killed in southwestern Texas less than two weeks later when a pickup truck collided head-on with another pickup during a 50-mile police chase. A 24-year-old Texas man has since been charged with “transporting illegal aliens resulting in death.”

Deterrence Policies Drive Migrants to Take Greater Risks

Yesterday’s horrific accident came just two weeks after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order prohibiting private transportation suppliers from providing ground transport to most migrants.

Dylan Corbett, the founding director of the Hope Border Institute in El Paso, told The New York Times that people in the van had likely arranged their own transportation instead of relying on a humanitarian organization.

“People who make the journey and choose this know they are putting their lives in danger,” he said, “but they don’t have many options.”

“What happened today, you can draw a direct line from that to our policy of deterrence,” he added.

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Our Undefeated Texas Car Accident Lawyers are investigating the fatal van crash near Encino and will post an update if new information becomes available.

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If you were hurt or experienced the wrongful death of a loved one because of the Encino, Texas, migrant van crash or another motor vehicle accident, please call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat” button on our homepage, or click here to send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.

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