Three people were killed Thursday when their pickup truck careened out of control and crashed after the Border Patrol attempted to blow the tires to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Agents said they spotted a truck that gave all the usual signs of being involved in smuggling and attempted a stop using lights and sirens. The driver of the pickup fled down Interstate 8, and the agents tried to force a stop using a spike-strip, which is a type of tire deflation device.
The vehicle continued traveling for a minute afterwards, then the driver lost control and ran up the embankment on the side of the highway, rolling over and ejecting some of the passengers.
Three of the 11 people in the pickup were dead at the scene. Three others suffered serious injuries.
The driver, a U.S. citizen, is in the custody of the California Highway Patrol.
No names were released by the Border Patrol.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that nine of the people were in the truck bed at the time the driver lost control.
In another incident a day earlier in Texas, another apparent smuggling attempt went awry and led to another crash.
A Victoria County sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over a Chevrolet Cruz but the vehicle fled, reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour before eventually careening out of control and rolling over multiple times.
Immigration authorities discovered four illegal immigrants who’d been in the car, including one 33-year-old Honduran man whose injuries were so bad his led had to be amputated at the knee.
High-speed flights to escape capture by immigration authorities are not unusual, with some chases reaching 130 miles per hour.
Attempting to deflate tires is a standard tactic, though not always successful, with some drivers managing to avoid the deflation devices. The Border Patrol is testing different methods of trying to bring fleeing vehicles to a stop.
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