EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Two people died and eight others were injured after a rollover crash in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, on Sunday night.
Border Patrol agents say the vehicle was involved in a human smuggling operation.
Emergency crews responded near mile marker 6 on Pete Domenici Highway at around 11 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 8.
According to Sunland Park Fire department, there were eight patients and two male fatalities. Two patients were airlifted to University Medical Center; six were transported by ground to other local hospitals. Two patients had critical injuries. The identities of the victims have not been released.
According to a statement from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol agents from the Santa Teresa Station observed a vehicle that they suspected of being involved in human smuggling near the intersection of Strauss and the Pete Domenici Highway.
An agent activated their emergency lights and the suspected vehicle sped away from the agent.
“Within seconds, the driver lost control of the suspected vehicle and was involved in a rollover accident with multiple injuries,” the statement read.
The human smuggling incident is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. The Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Office is handling the vehicle accident investigation. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility is also reviewing the incident.
The story will be updated as more information becomes available.