A dozen people were ejected and one of them was killed Wednesday morning in a crash that officials suspect is a case of human smuggling, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
The department’s spokesperson, Lt. Chris Olivarez, said in a pair of tweets that the fatal crash occurred in the city of La Joya — about 5 miles from the Mexico border — after the driver “evaded from law enforcement after disregarding a red light.”
“Due to excessive speed & recklessness the driver crashed & rolled over on a dirt road,” the tweet continued.
The crash occurred shortly after 9:30 a.m., Olivarez said.
A passenger in the truck was pronounced dead on the scene, Olivarez said, adding that the person has not yet been identified.
The 11 survivors, including the driver, were taken to the hospital, according to Olivarez, who said authorities suspect some passengers were inside the truck and others were riding in the bed.
Some were in critical condition and others were stable, he added. More information on their conditions was not immediately available.
It is unclear where the passengers originally came from, Olivarez said.
If the injured passengers are released from the hospital and they are non-citizens, Border Patrol will take over, he said.
Authorities suspect the case involved human smuggling based on the number of people involved, the area, and the fact that the driver was evading law enforcement after running a red light, Olivarez said.
The investigation is ongoing, according to Olivarez.