Texas crash: 8 dead after car collision involving suspected migrants – USA TODAY

A car suspected of carrying smuggled migrants fled from police and crashed into oncoming traffic, killing eight people on Wednesday in Texas, officials told multiple news outlets.
The Texas Department of Public Safety told media the driver of a 2009 Honda Civic tried to flee from officers with the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office at 6:30 a.m. local time Wednesday near Batesville, Texas.
The driver tried to pass a semi truck in a no passing zone and collided into a 2015 Chevrolet Equinox, which caught fire, the Associated Press reported. All passengers in both cars died.
More:Migrant deaths more than doubled in El Paso Sector after scorching heat, Border Patrol data says
The driver of the Civic was a 21-year-old from Houston who had five passengers in his car. Some of the passengers were from Honduras.
The Equinox was carrying two people identified as Jose Lerma, 67, and Isabel Lerma, 65, of Dalton, Georgia, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Chris Olivarez said on X.
The identities of the rest of the victims have not been publicly released.
The incident marks the second highest death toll of a crash involving migrants since a March 2021 collision in Holtville, California that left 13 people dead.
In that crash, a semitruck slammed into an SUV packed with 25 people, many of whom were from Mexico.
More:US arrests 4 Mexican nationals in 2022 deaths of migrants trapped in hot tractor-trailer in Texas
U.S. Customs and Border Protections updated their vehicle pursuit policy in January in an effort to increase safety.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, Border Patrol car chases have led to 106 migrant deaths between from January 2010 to June 2023.
CBP’s policy does not prohibit pursuits but “provides a clear framework for weighing the risks of conducting pursuits, such as the dangers they present to the public, against the law enforcement benefit or need. The policy lays out factors to consider when deciding if a vehicle should be pursued, and when a pursuit should be terminated.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment.

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