Nine Mexican migrants were killed and six others injured when the van they were traveling in crashed after the driver sped away from an immigration checkpoint in South Texas.
Authorities said the death toll from Tuesday night’s accident in Palmview could rise.
The van, built to carry eight people, had been modified to accommodate a driver and 18 passengers, and officials suspect all 19 aboard the vehicle were undocumented.
The van stopped at the Border Patrol checkpoint, but one person jumped out and the vehicle took off before agents could conduct an inspection.
A Border Patrol spokesman said the agents did not mount a pursuit.
The van ran off the road and flipped over several times after traveling a few blocks from the checkpoint.
Three of the six people injured have already been treated and released, police Cmdr. Lenny Sanchez told Efe. Two occupants of the van are in custody and two others fled the scene, he said.
Action 4 News, the local CBS affiliate, cited an eyewitness who said “the bodies started flying in the air and landing everywhere.”