By Steve Neavling
The car crash that killed seven people in downtown El Paso on Thursday was involved in human smuggling.
The car was fleeing Border Patrol agents when it crashed into a trailer at 2:15 a.m.
Among those killed were at least three undocumented immigrants who were being smuggled into the U.S. and four El Paso residents, including the 18-year-old driver The Daily Mail reports.
A Mexican man and two unidentified people also were killed.
Among the injured were Mexico native Omar Garcia Hernandez, 18, Guatemalan national Wilbur Gomez, 25, and an unnamed 16-year-old from Mexico.
“All preliminary information collected thus far indicates that it was indeed a human smuggling event,” Chief Patrol Agent of the El Paso Sector Gloria Chavez said in a statement.
A sensor alerted agents to the four-door sedan in Sunland Park, New Mexico, an area near the border that is know for human smuggling.
The driver fled by accelerating at a high rate of speed. Agents called off the chase because of the dangerous speed.
Soon after, the agents spotted the car, which had crashed into a trailer on private property.
“I cannot stress enough how Transnational Criminal Organizations continue to exploit human beings and manipulate the youth in our communities by recruiting them to be their mules and their smugglers,” Chavez said.
“Human smuggling is as lucrative as drug smuggling, if not more, and our youth are being targeted.”