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Border Patrol says El Paso car crash that killed 7 stemmed from human smuggling case

EL PASO, Texas -- The U.S. Border Patrol chief for the El Paso sector said Saturday that one of the deadliest car crashes in the city's history was the result of a human smuggling attempt.

Thursday's early morning crash in the downtown area that killed seven and seriously injured three others came after Border Patrol agents briefly chased the car because they said it was seen leaving an area "known for alien smuggling activity."

RELATED STORY: 3 families now tell ABC-7 they believe loved ones are among 7 victims killed in El Paso crash

In a statement Saturday, Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez called it a "human smuggling incident" that resulted in the deadly crash.

She said Border Patrol had confirmed, after the crash, that there were "three illegal aliens: two from Mexico and one from Guatemala" among the ten people in the car. El Paso police a day prior had indicated people of three nationalities were in the vehicle.

"All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event," Chavez said.

Aside from noting that several people in the car were from Central America, Chavez did not share any additional evidence gathered by investigators that led to her conclusion.

Of those crash victims identified so far by El Paso police, which is leading the crash investigation, it indicated all were between the ages of 16 and 25.

Chavez said in her statement that criminal groups "manipulate the youth in our communities by recruiting them to be their mules and their smugglers. Human smuggling is as lucrative as drug smuggling, if not more, and our youth are being targeted."

But Chavez did not elaborate specifically as it related to Thursday's incident, in which a compact 4-door sedan drove off as agents attempted to stop it, ultimately crashing into a parked semi-trailer a short time later.

The Border Patrol chief on Saturday maintained her agents "terminated the pursuit almost as soon as it began," citing the high speed and road conditions along that stretch of Paisano Street - which El Paso police say is no stranger to traffic crashes. She said "agents later came upon the vehicle."

However, a witness interviewed previously by ABC-7 has disputed the Border Patrol's contention that agents had backed off from chasing the car before it crashed.

The witness said he saw the car speed by at what he believed to be 90 miles an hour, with the Border Patrol following with flashing lights, moments before the crash. He said the agents arrived at the crash scene within 10 to 15 seconds of it occurring.

Thursday’s deadly crash was the second of the year to occur in that same area. According to ABC-7 archives, a man was killed in a January crash after also trying to avoid Border Patrol agents.

Chavez has declined interview requests and instead issued Saturday's statement without taking any questions from ABC-7 or other news outlets.

Border / Crime / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.

Comments

53 Comments

      1. Madmike that little shit probably would have turned YOUR life around. Isn’t that what happened in Clint? It’s those kind of comments that place the good cops in danger. Loudmouth thugs in uniform like madmike. Bad representation of the badge. You shit all over it.

      1. You must be talking about your schizo buddy markturner. He is white trailer park trash. But a step above Alberto the section 8 welfare queen. BTW – Insomnia much?

  1. Needless tragedy. We need immigration reform that will put an end to making it necessary to enter the country in such a dangerous manner. I knew the Border Patrol doesn’t give a damn about municipal traffic violations over which they have no jurisdiction. Vote on November 3.

    1. Too bad your vote will be worthless on November 3 since President Trump will win Texas. Nice prize of 38 electoral votes. Still waiting for your reply about Texas being purple. Show me!

        1. You that daft? Color blind? Texas can’t be purple. It is solid red. The Republicans have all the state leadership positions like Governor. Lt Governor etc. The Republicans have the majority in both the state senate and house. The two U.S. Senators Cornyn and Cruz are Republican. You mean those leftists polls that said Wendy Davis was going to be Governor and Beto would beat Ted Cruz? LMAO.

      1. Used to be until the orange buffoon ended all that. He’s the best thing that ever happened to the Democrats. The Biden campaign can’t wait until he holds another white trash meet and greet and gives another rambling incoherent speech.

        1. Counting your chickens before they hatch? It’s not over until the fat lady sings. Incoherent speech? You must be talking about dementia Joe Biden. President Trump will slaughter him in the 3 upcoming debates. BTW – Your TDS makes you sound like an idiot. Biden can’t even muster a libtard meet and great. No one attends. lmao.

      1. During the surge at the border last year ICE said they only encountered 4 people who had criminal records in their home country. No criminals. Just poor people trying to improve their lives. Immigrants just like my great grandparents and yours. Patriotic Americans respect immigrants. Nazis don’t.

        1. I live on the border. I’ve apprehended thousands. Stop with the lies. You also forget the fact that they become criminals as soon as they cross

          1. Jeff Allen you are soooo full is white shit!!!! Apprehended thousands? Lying somsabitch! All criminals? Bug lying sumsabitch!!!!

      1. He should be deported to a communist country since he is a fascist communist. Like North Korea. Then he can eat all the kimchi he wants with his buddy Kim.

  2. First World Criminal Nazi Trump calls immigrant families Criminal. People who live in Glass Houses shouldn’t Throw Stones. #LOCKNAZITRUMP. Billy Barr can send him commissary money to the Penitentiary so he can buy Mac and Cheese and Ramen to barter. Mr. Biden, please don’t pardon him next year. He doesn’t deserve it!

      1. Does that mean we can start rioting and destroying the property and businesses of innocent people? Is that the kind of respect you’re talking about?

  3. Please, if you have any sense of affection for this country, get rid of the Nazi person impersonating as the president of the United States!

    #BIDEN2020. #DRAINTHETRUMPSWUMPNOW!

    1. Hey moron the election is not until November 3. Over 4 months way. Until then you are preaching to the choir. No one in El Paso listens to you Alberto. Elect socialist dementia Joe Biden? That will never happen. TRUMP 2020!

    2. You are a fascist, Alberto Velarde. You claimed support for fascist ANTIFA, you support La Raza, You call everyone but yourself racist, while spewing profanities, racist rants. You ever referred to the only black NASCAR driver, on KVIA as a “coon”.

  4. All these Right Wing Nut Jobs on this site will turn on each other after Biden kicks Trump on his fat butt. All of these Trump Brown Nosers will be hollering Fraud, Fraud, Fraud after Biden wins in a Lansdlide. Grown men will cry for the next 4 years as their Idol Trump loses so badly he will retreat to Mar a Lago never to be seen again. Good riddance!

      1. It’s Alberto aka markturner the buffoon. Biden will be in an alzheimer’s nursing home before November 3. So don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Since you like polls so much a new poll shows Trump ahead in swing state Wisconsin. Over the next 4 months the polls will be changing and getting tighter. Biden’s ratings will drop significantly as he comes out his basement especially for the upcoming debates. Keep on hoping delusion.

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