At least five people were killed and nine others injured when the SUV they were riding in crashed while fleeing police and Border Patrol in South Texas, authorities said Sunday.
Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd said the SUV was traveling at speeds over 100 mph before it crashed near Highway 85, ejecting some of those inside.
Boyd said 14 people were in the SUV and 12 of the occupants were suspected of being in the country illegally, CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports. He said a Border Patrol agent initiated the pursuit before a unit for the sheriff’s office took over.
The driver and one passenger are believed to be U.S. citizens, KABB-TV reports. Boyd said both are in custody and they will likely face state and federal charges.
The pursuit took place in Big Wells, about 130 miles southwest of San Antonio.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Sunday saying an agent based in Carrizo Springs saw three vehicles traveling past his location and believed a "smuggling event" was taking place. The agent stopped one of the vehicles and alerted other agents who stopped a second vehicle. Both stops resulted in multiple arrests, the agency said.
Meanwhile, the third vehicle failed to stop when an agent encountered it, the agency said. The pursuit was then taken over by the sheriff’s deputy.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to the families of those who died in the crash," the agency said.
It added that the incident is under investigation by Border Patrol, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Dimmit County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations and Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility.