Federal prosecutors in South Texas have charged a man who they say was smuggling undocumented immigrants when the vehicle he was driving struck a tree, killing five of them.
An affidavit says Manuel Rendon-Lucas told federal agents he was paid $250 for each person he was attempting to drive Saturday from a McAllen home to Houston.
The SUV driven by Rendon was packed with 14 others when Falfurrias police began pursuing it. Rendon was fleeing at a high speed when the vehicle left the road and struck the tree.
Ten others, including Rendon, were injured.
Rendon faces a federal charge of smuggling illegal aliens. The affidavit indicates Rendon himself was in the country illegally.
One survivor told investigators he was going to pay $3,000 to be smuggled into the U.S.