EL PASO, Texas -- The seven people who were killed and three injured when a car being pursued by the U.S. Border Patrol crashed are citizens of three different countries, El Paso police said Friday.
The crash victims, ranging in age from at least 16 to 25, included residents of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, as well as Mexican and Guatemalan nationals. Two of the three survivors were the only ones identified by name.
Below is the tentative list of victims provided by police:
- Driver: 18 –year old male (deceased) of El Paso
- Passenger 1: Male, Mexican national (deceased)
- Passenger 2: female, no other information (deceased)
- Passenger 3: female, El Paso resident (deceased)
- Passenger 4: male, El Paso resident (deceased)
- Passenger 5: female, El Paso resident (deceased)
- Passenger 6: male, no other information (deceased)
- Passenger 7: 16 –year old male of Juarez, Chih. MX
- Passenger 8: 18 –year old Omar Garcia Hernandez of Juarez, Chih. MX
- Passenger 9: 25 –year old Wilmur Gomez of Guatemala
A police spokesman later indicated that efforts to identify the victims were being hampered because some victims had no IDs, while others apparently had fake IDs.
Sgt. Enrqiue Carillo said the Mexican Consulate disputed the identity of the hospitalized passenger thought to be 18–year-old Omar Garcia Hernandez of Juarez, indicating the identification on the man didn't match government records.
"We don't have absolute confirmation of their identities," Carillo said. "As it turns out, we're finding out some of the people from Juarez were not from Juarez."
Police have said all ten people were inside a four-door compact car when it crashed shortly after 2:15 a.m. on Thursday in downtown El Paso.
The three survivors, listed as passengers 7 to 9 on the police list, remained hospitalized with serious injuries on Friday.
Authorities said the Border Patrol was trying to stop the car when it sped away and crashed into a semi-trailer in front of a building.
But an eyewitness to the crash disputed the Border Patrol's contention that agents had backed off from chasing the car before it crashed.
The witness, who requested anonymity because of his job, told ABC-7 he saw the car speed by at what he believed to be 90 miles an hour, with the Border Patrol following, before hearing the crash. He said the border agents arrived at the crash scene within 10 to 15 seconds later.
That crash, near the intersection of Paisano Street and San Antonio Avenue, is believed to be one of the deadliest in El Paso history.