Police in Edna, Texas report that six people were killed, and ten others were injured during a police chase where the driver failed to pull over following an attempted stop for a traffic violation. The grizzly scene of the rollover was intensified due to a large number of occupants in the Ford Explorer. Police say there were 16 people jammed into the vehicle, and most were ejected during the crash. The television station covering the incident said all the occupants were “illegal immigrants” except the owner of the SUV. Surveying the tragic display of dead humans, Texas Trooper, Ruben San Miguel said, “The most difficult part of this is if they’re not US citizens and have no ID,” San Miguel said. “We have to start the investigation of how to track these people down.”, according to the report. The police did not immediately say why they engaged in such a high-risk and dangerous chase, through at least one small town, over a possible traffic violation. The New York Times reported that,
“Federal immigration officials conducting a criminal investigation into the crash determined that the S.U.V., a 2003 Ford Explorer, was being used by a human smuggling ring to transport 12 undocumented immigrants, all adults, from Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, according to a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement”.
COMMENT: Based upon the history of human smuggling in this specific area, the suggestion that the attempted stop was based upon an alleged traffic violation seems disingenuous—unless, the violation was for having too many people in the vehicle. Presumably, police near the border, are on high and anticipatory alert for smuggling activities, and a truck jammed with so many people would raise a reasonable probability of suspicious activity. Nevertheless, such a dangerous pursuit seems unreasonable; it is not only the “illegal immigrants” who are put at risk when tons of steel are moving fast through a small town. Moreover, “the most difficult part of this” would seem to be the loss of human life, not that the victims did not have valid ID.