Update: Encinal car chase results in 4 fatalities and 3 injuries

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 10:35 AM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - UPDATE: Authorities are investigating another human smuggling that ending in several fatalities.

The incident happened on Thursday morning at around 8 a.m. when authorities were attempting to pull over the driver of a white Jeep Wrangler near mile marker 30.

However, the driver refused and sent officers on a chase.

The driver exited on crashed into a semi-trailer that was parked in the Loves Gas Station parking lot.

Four people were killed and three others were injured.

The consulate of Laredo says the four people who died were migrants two of which were from Mexico.

Sergeant William Butterfield with the Encinal Police Department was the first officer on the scene.

He says that this is one of the worst accidents that he has seen in all his 31 years of being on the force.

“I was on the west axis road, so I took off after it. There was a border patrol agent that was probably a good quarter mile behind it. It didn’t have any lights on or anything just basically keeping an eye on the vehicle. Trying for it not to go to much faster. So, I got up to the west axis road. The gentleman wasn’t slowing down. My guess is that he was over 100 mph because I was at 120mph and I was barely catching him”, said Sergeant Butterfield.

The consulate says they are working with the victims’ families to return them to Mexico.

The Webb County Medical Examiner is said to be handling the victims.

According to Border Patrol, the incident remains under investigation by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility, Texas Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Investigations.

Authorities confirmed this was a human smuggling attempt and the driver remains in critical condition. The deceased nationalities are as follows: 2 from Guatemala, 1 from Mexico, and 1 hasn’t yet been identified. The three injured nationalities are as follows: 1 from Guatemala, 1 from Mexico and 1 from United States (Driver). Notifications to families are still pending, so identifications will not be released until then.

Below is the original text of the story:

The Texas Department of Public Safety has confirmed the deceased victims were four immigrants. Two others are in critical condition. The driver/smuggler has been airlifted to a hospital.

This is the second deadly human smuggling event within 24 hours resulting in the deaths of six immigrants.

Car chase ends in Encinal, at least 4 dead
Car chase ends in Encinal, at least 4 dead(Texas Department of Public Safety)

Below is the original story:

A car chase that began in Laredo has ended at the Love’s Truck Stop in Encinal, Texas on I-35. According to preliminary reports, a white Jeep crashed with a trailer. Authorities say at least four people have lost their lives due to the accident.

The Encinal Police Department sent out an active emergency situation alert around 9 a.m. on their social media pages. According to the department, there was “a heavy law enforcement presence” at the establishment “due to a critical police incident,” stating that multiple local, state & federal agencies were at the scene.

Car chase ends in Encinal, at least 4 dead
Car chase ends in Encinal, at least 4 dead(Encinal Police Department)

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, DPS got the call to help assist authorities after 8:30 a.m. as they were trying to get the driver of a white truck to stop. The driver got off on Mile Marker 38 and crashed into a semi-truck.

At this time, three men are confirmed dead, plus another fatality pending gender identification. Additionally, three other men were injured.

The roadways in the area will be blocked off for several hours. You are asked to please avoid the area for first responders if you are headed to the area.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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