10 Killed After Packed Van Crashes Into Utility Pole In South Texas

By Jason Hall

August 5, 2021

Police Crime Scene
Photo: Getty Images

Ten people were killed and others face critical injuries after a van carrying about 30 individuals crashed into a utility pole in South Texas just north of the U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday (August 4).

NBC News reports the single-vehicle crash took place in Encino at around 4:00 p.m., the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed.

DPS Sgt. Nathan Brandley said the van appeared to be speeding when it attempted to take a turn and crashed into a metal utility pole.

"They were traveling at a speed way too fast to try to maneuver that curve and went into the metal utility pole," Brandley said via NBC News.

Witnesses told officials at the scene that there was no pursuit leading up to the crash.

Authorities are investigating whether the individuals involved were undocumented immigrants.

"We’re trying to ID everybody and also go through the Mexican consulate to confirm if they are from out of the country or not," Brandley said.

Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez said the van involved in the crash was designed to hold a total of 15 people, half of the amount reported to be inside at the time.

The Department of Public Safety reports 20 passengers were transported to hospitals for treatment in addition to the 10 killed in the accident, according to NBC News.

Encino is located about 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen.

A similar accident took place near the U.S.-Mexico border in California on March 2, which saw more than a dozen individuals killed while riding in an overloaded vehicle.

A total of 13 people from Mexico and Guatemala died after a Ford Expedition carrying 25 individuals was struck by a gravel truck in Holtville.

The Expedition was one of two vehicles carrying immigrants that had driven through a hole in a border fence prior to the crash, according to officials via NBC News.

A legal permanent U.S. resident from Mexico received federal charges for allegedly organizing the smuggling in relation to the fatal March 2 crash, prosecutors confirmed to NBC News.

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