By Steve Neavling
Border Patrol agents were chasing an SUV driven by a suspected human smuggler when the Chevrolet Trailblazer crashed Sunday in Lake Moreno, Calif., injuring all nine people inside the vehicle.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that agents attempted to pull over the SUV on state Route 94 in the Campo area shortly before noon.
The driver, who sped away, crashed about 15 minutes later into a boulder near the entrance to Lake Morena County Park.
One person was in critical condition, while six sustained moderate injuries and two suffered minor injuries.
Agents believe the driver, who is a U.S. citizen, was smuggling the passengers into the U.S. They were all adult Mexican nationals.
“This incident is a sad example of how human smugglers show utter disregard for human life in order to profit from criminal activity,” Mark Endicott, a supervisory Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, said in a statement.