VAN HORN, Texas -- Multiple fatalities and severe injuries were reported after an SUV carrying 15 undocumented migrants overturned along a highway in Culberson County about 5:30 a.m. on Friday.
Texas state troopers, Culberson County Sheriff's deputies and Customs and Border Protection agents all responded to the rollover crash scene along State Highway 54, about 24 miles north of Van Horn and one mile north of Blue Origin's gate.
Officials said four of the migrants were killed, while the 11 others were injured; five of the crash victims were flown to University Medical Center in El Paso in critical condition, according to a UMC spokesman.
Authorities said all 15 of the migrants were from Guatemala and between the ages of 20 to 25; Sheriff Oscar Carrillo said they were being smuggled and had been picked up for transport about an hour prior to the crash.
He added that the driver was apparently picked up by another vehicle traveling along with the SUV; that second vehicle fled the scene.
A spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety said the cause of the crash was under investigation, but indicated that it didn't stem from any chase involving law enforcement. The sheriff said it appeared the driver may have lost control of the SUV along a curve in the road.