La Joya residents say immigrant smuggling is common, dangerous
Mon, 09 Apr 2012 23:22:54 GMT —
Authorities still do not know what caused the driver to lose control and flip into a nearby field---but said the driver of the van was not being chased by any law enforcement agency.
Ambulances lined the eastbound lanes of Expressway 83 near FM 2221 on the outskirts of La Joya.
For hours DPS troopers, Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies surrounded the area.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesman Johnny Hernandez told Action 4 News that one person died in the crash and nine others were injured.
Trooper Hernandez said there were 18 to 20 people crammed inside the small minivan.
"We're still investigating the crash, Hernandez said. We're trying to figure out what the cause of the crash was and we're also looking for the driver."
La Joya resident Tello Morales was one of the many onlookers who gathered to see what all the commotion was about.
He heard a loud crash and when he came outside.
There were people sprawled all over in a nearby field.
"I feel sad for the one that passed away and his family," Morales said.
This is one of the worst incidents involving illegal smuggling that Morales has witnessed but it's not the first -- proof the situation isn't improving.
He's seen people sneaking through the brush nearby and even right through his neighborhood.
"I know they're trying to make a living like anybody else," Morales said.The case has been handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation.
They told Action 4 News they have to wait until those taken to the hospital are medically cleared before they can being to question them.
Agents believe all are from Central America.