State Watch

10 dead after overloaded van crashes in south Texas

At least 10 people are dead and 20 others were injured after an overloaded van with migrants inside crashed on a remote south Texas highway on Wednesday.

The crash occurred in Brooks County, Texas, which is located roughly 1.5 miles south of Encino, shortly after 4 p.m., according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is investigating the crash.

The Ford passenger van, which is only supposed to hold 15 passengers, according to The Associated Press, was traveling at an "unsafe speed and veered off the highway" when trying to make a right turn, the Texas Department of Public Safety told The Hill in a statement.

The car reportedly struck a metal utility pole and a stop sign.

The driver and nine other passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Twenty other passengers were transported to several local medical centers.

Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez said the van was not being pursued, according to the AP.

Martinez says he believed all of the passengers in the van were migrants. The 20 passengers who survived the crash reportedly have injuries ranging from serious to critical.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said the identities of those who died in the crash are being withheld until they are properly identified and the next of kin is notified. Information regarding the van, including its registration and ownership, were not immediately released, the news wire noted.

The crash comes as an influx of migrants have been approaching the southern U.S. border in recent months, particularly since President Biden took office in January.

President Biden in March selected Vice President Harris to lead the administration's efforts to halt the flow of migrants trying to enter the U.S. at the southern border.

The vice president has in part focused her efforts on addressing the root causes of the increase in immigration by establishing partnerships with Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries.

U.S. authorities recorded nearly 200,000 migrant encounters at the southwest border in June, bringing the number of apprehensions for the fiscal year to more than 1 million, according to statistics released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The number of encounters in June was the highest monthly total since March 2000. The number of migrants apprehended in June, however, was similar to spring 2019 statistics, which suggests that there were repeated attempts to cross the border by some in June.

The Hill reached out to the Brooks County Sheriff's Office for additional information.

Updated Aug. 5 at 10:45 a.m.