Two U.S. Border Patrol agents were killed early Thursday morning in Arizona when their vehicle was hit by a 90-car freight train, authorities said. The agents were assisting in the apprehension of illegal immigrants who entered the country.
The agents were identified as Hector R. Clark, 39, and Eduardo Rojas Jr., 35.
The incident happened about 9 miles west of Gila Bend, Az., in an area patrolled by the Yuma Sector of the Border Patrol, according to Kenneth Quillin, a supervisory Border Patrol agent based in Arizona. The incident happened about 80 miles from the Mexican border at Paloma Road near exit 106 of I-8.
Quillin said the men were in an unmarked SUV when they were hit by a Union Pacific freight train around 6 a.m.
“On behalf of the entire U.S. Customs and Border Protection family, I would like to share our heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends, and colleagues of Hector R. Clark and Eduardo Rojas Jr. as we mourn their passing,” Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan D. Bersin said in a statement.
Authorities said Clark began his career with the U.S. Border Patrol on August 20, 2001 and was first assigened to the El Centro Sector and was serving as a Lead Border Patrol Agent in the Yuma Sector in Arizona.
Clark, a native of Yuma, Ariz., is survived by his wife and two children.
Agent Rojas entered the U.S. Border Patrol on April 9, 2000, and was assigned to the Yuma Sector, authorities said.
At the time of the accident, he was serving as a Lead Border Patrol Agent in the Yuma Sector. Agent Rojas was a native of El Paso, Tex.,and is survived by his wife and two children, the agency said.