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6 Dead, 7 Injured in Edna Police Chase

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Olivia Finger2 years ago

Six people are now dead following a 10-minute police chase along U.S. 59 in Edna, Texas.

Details of the Fatal Edna Accident

According to the Houston Chronicle, the chase began around 1:30 a.m. Thursday when a 2003 Ford Explorer refused to stop for police. The Explorer, carrying 12 passengers, was targeted for a traffic violation.

Police pursued the SUV, which abruptly changed directions, and proceeded southbound on the freeway. The chase concluded when the driver lost control of the vehicle, ran off the road, and flipped several times ejecting four people – the ejected occupants who died instantly. 

Two of the passengers, attempted to flee but were later discovered and taken into custody.

Three other passengers were taken to Memorial Hermann-The Texas Medical Center by LifeFlight medical helicopter – two of them died of their injuries. Six others were wounded and were transported by ambulance to Jackson County Hospital. No other information about the passengers was released.

Occupants Suspected to Be Undocumented Workers

The SUV had been altered to accommodate additional passengers. The rear seats had been folded down and the middle seats removed.

Chief of the Edna Police, Clinton Wooldridge, said in a statement released to the media that an investigation of the identities of the passengers was being conducted. The passengers, allegedly undocumented immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, were potentially involved in a human smuggling ring, the New York Times reports.

“Something this tragic happens very seldom, thank God,” Chief Wooldridge said. “Stops of vehicles carrying undocumented immigrants can occur in the area as often as four times a week,” he went on to say.

Federal immigration officials are conducting a criminal investigation into the crash.

The State Department of Public Safety reported that human smuggling organizations were ever-increasing, citing a 94 percent climb in apprehensions of undocumented immigrants from 2011 to 2014. 

Citizens of Central America often flee their country to escape violence and intimidation from street gangs. Associate professor of political science at South Texas College in McAllen, Jenny Bryson Clark, said that immigrants often have no other choice but to succumb to smugglers in the United States.


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