Update: Driver of Encinal car crash succumbs to injuries

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2022 at 3:24 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Authorities continue to investigate a deadly car chase that resulted in the death of four migrants last Thursday.

Update: On Wednesday, officials announced that the driver linked to the accident that killed has four migrants has died.

DPS has identified the driver as 20-year-old Dorian Nathaniel Pena.

A resident from Lake Jackson, Texas.

Pena’s death is believed to be the fifth death linked to this accident.

He was airlifted to San Antonio’s University Medical Center.

On June 30th, the driver believed to be Pena lead border patrol on a chase after he failed to yield.

The chase came to an end when he crashed into a trailer at the Loves Truck Stop in Encinal.

The investigation continues in the case.

Below is the last updated version of the story:

According to a recent press release from Border Patrol, the agency says the white Jeep Wrangler involved drove around the checkpoint after 8 a.m.

The driver used the west access road on I-35

An agent then followed the Jeep to dirt road, that’s when the driver was seen speaking to another individual.

The driver of the Jeep then stopped where the agent’s unit was parked.

The agency says the agent asked the driver if they needed help.

The driver of the Jeep told the agent they were looking for a wildlife safari.

The agent got out of his vehicle and approached the driver. The agency claims the driver, drove forward and nervously repeated that he had missed his exit and needed to go.

The man drove away, and the agent observed that the vehicle appeared to be riding low; meaning, it looked like it was carrying or hauling heavy cargo.

The agent followed the Jeep onto the west access road which is when the driver of the vehicle began to speed away.

Minutes later, the agent tried to conduct a traffic stop; however, the agency says the driver of the Jeep failed to yield resulting in a chase.

The driver of the Jeep was now driving over 100 miles per hour.

For a brief moment, the agent lost sight of the Jeep but was later found crashed into a stalled tractor trailer at the Loves Travel Stop.

The Jeep Wrangler was found to contain a total of seven occupants.

Four of the vehicle’s occupants were fatally injured, including two men from Mexico, a person from Guatemala, and one unidentified person.

The driver of the Jeep was identified as a U.S. Citizen.

He suffered head trauma and was airlifted to the University Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Additionally, one man from Guatemala was airlifted to University Medical Center, and another Guatemalan man was taken to Laredo Medical Center.

Several agencies were called to help including DPS and Encinal Police.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is leading the investigation into the accident and Homeland Security has initiated a criminal investigation against the driver of the Jeep Wrangler.

The names of the other four victims are as followed:

1. Leonardo Ramirez Avillaneda, 45 years of age.

2. Isaac Cruz Lopez, 27 years of age.

3. Marvin Romeo Xitamul, 27-years of age.

The fourth victim who is a Hispanic male has not been identified at this time.

To read the full statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, click here.

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