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Crash kills 10 of 30 people in van carrying migrants near Texas border, authorities say

At least 10 people were killed when a speeding van carrying 30 immigrants crashed into a pole in South Texas, authorities said on Aug. 4. (Video: Reuters)

A speeding van carrying 30 immigrants crashed into a pole in South Texas, killing nine passengers and the driver, authorities say.

The white Ford van was driving northbound on U.S. Route 281 with double the number of passengers the vehicle is designed for when the top-heavy van veered off the road as it tried to make a turn — striking both a metal utility pole and a stop sign, Sgt. Nathan Brandley, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

The crash occurred near Encino, Tex., several miles south from the U.S. Border Patrol check in Falfurrias, Brooks County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jennifer Garza said. A passing driver reported the crash at 3:21 p.m., she said.

Garza said authorities believe the passengers were immigrants hoping to cross the border.

According to Brandley, witnesses who saw the fatal crash said there were no pursuits by either the Border Patrol or the Department of Public Safety involved in the incident.

The injured were taken to local hospitals, he said.

Authorities did not provide information on the victims, but a representative at the Mexican Consulate in McAllen, Tex., said the consulate is working with the Texas Department of Public Safety to identify the victims.

This crash is the latest involving immigrants.

In March, one of the deadliest collisions took place in California, where some 13 people were killed and a dozen where injured after a packed vehicle crashed with a tractor-trailer near the border. Authorities then charged a U.S. resident with arranging transportation for people illegally entering the country.

In South Texas, communities like Encino have faced an uptick in illegal immigration, human smuggling and organized crime — with high-speed chases becoming a routine occurrence, as local law enforcement agencies aim to stop this activity.