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(WABNEWS) — At least six migrants have died and 10 others have been rescued in three separate human smuggling incidents in Texas in the last 24 hours, authorities said.
Four migrants were killed and three people seriously injured Thursday during a highway chase and crash in Encinal, Texas, just days after 53 migrants were killed in and around an abandoned truck in San Antonio in the human trafficking incident. deadliest in US history.RELATED
Thursday’s accident was on Interstate 35 about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Laredo, according to the lieutenant. Chris Olivarez, spokesman for the South Texas region of the state Department of Public Safety (DPS).
Four men were pronounced dead on Interstate 35 in what is being investigated as “an attempted human smuggling,” according to a statement from Texas Highway Patrol Sgt. Erick Estrada.
Estrada said “a white Jeep SUV was evading United States Border Patrol traveling north” on I-35. The Jeep took a high-speed exit, lost control and rear-ended a parked semitrailer.
The driver, a man who remains in critical condition, and two male passengers were injured and taken to a hospital, according to Estrada.
Two of the four men who died were from Guatemala, another from Mexico, and one has not yet been identified, said Sgt. The injured were from Guatemala, Mexico and the driver is from the United States. The driver was airlifted to a hospital, according to Olivarez.
Early Wednesday morning in Palmview, near McAllen, a driver who was evading US Border Patrol and lost control of the vehicle involved a driver who hit a vehicle, Olivarez told WABNEWS.
Four occupants were ejected and two men were killed, according to Olivarez. A man and a woman were seriously injured in the migrant smuggling case.
Additionally, the Laredo Sector Border Patrol reported that Eagle Pass agents had thwarted a smuggling attempt involving 10 people who were locked in a tractor-trailer, according to a Wednesday tweet Chief Patrol Agent Jason D. Owens.
Monday’s tragedy also occurred on I-35, a major north-south route in the central United States for traffic and commerce from the southern border. The route is often exploited by smugglers at a time when record numbers of migrants are being intercepted at the US-Mexico border.
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On Monday in San Antonio, about 120 miles (193 kilometers) north on I-35 from Encinal, 53 migrants were killed in what a Homeland Security Investigations official called the deadliest human trafficking incident in history. from the United States.
A worker near the interstate called San Antonio police after finding a tractor-trailer abandoned in the sun on a secondary road, with dozens of immigrants dead inside. Some victims could be under the age of 18.
“The floor of the trailer… was completely covered in bodies. Completely covered in bodies,” Police Chief William McManus told WABNEWS. “There were at least more than 10 bodies outside the trailer.”
Authorities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras have said they are working with the United States to try to identify the people who died in San Antonio.
More than a dozen people were found alive inside the trailer and hospitalized for heat-related conditions, authorities said.
Four people have been arrested in connection with the human trafficking incident
Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, of Brownsville but a resident of Pasadena, Texas, was arrested Wednesday on criminal charges related to his alleged involvement in human smuggling resulting in death, according to a statement from the United States Department of Justice. Joined.
Zamorano has an extensive criminal history dating back to the 1990s, public records show.
Surveillance footage from the Laredo Sector Border Patrol showed the tractor-trailer going through an immigration checkpoint, according to the Justice Department. The driver could be seen wearing a black striped shirt and a hat.
Zamorano matched the driver shown on surveillance footage, the Justice Department said.
WABNEWS has not been able to determine if he has an attorney.
Another suspect, Christian Martinez, 28, was arrested Tuesday in Palestine, Texas, and charged with one count of conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants resulting in death, the Justice Department said.
Two other men, Juan Claudio D’Luna-Mendez and Juan Francisco D’Luna-Bilbao, have been charged with “possession of a weapon by an alien unlawfully in the United States,” according to criminal complaints filed Monday.
Authorities located the men after responding to the truck incident, according to the affidavit.
D’Luna-Mendez’s attorney declined to comment. WABNEWS has contacted D’Luna-Bilbao’s lawyer for comment.
WABNEWS’s Rosa Flores contributed to this report.