At least five people were killed in a vehicle crash Sunday after Border Patrol agents chased an SUV transporting 14 individuals, several of them reportedly undocumented immigrants.
Authorities in Dimmit County, Texas, said 12 people were ejected from the SUV, CNN reported. A Dimmit County sheriff’s deputy took over the chase near Big Wells, Texas, and the SUV traveling nearly 100 mph lost control and ran off the road before flipping several times.
Police officials said the driver and one other occupant in the vehicle are U.S. citizens.
The chase began after a Border Patrol agent noticed three vehicles traveling in a caravan in what was suspected as a smuggling event, CBP said in a statement.
Reuters reported that Border Patrol agents stopped two of the vehicles and made multiple arrests, but the third vehicle escaped. The driver of the SUV was arrested and did not suffer any injuries.
National Public Radio reported that Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd said his office has received numerous calls from undocumented immigrants needing medical assistance in recent weeks.
“We need a wall, in my opinion,” Boyd said, referring to a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border proposed by President Trump, adding that it would serve to protect American lives as well as desperate migrants. “My office is receiving 911 calls from illegals in the brush, they’re calling out for help. They’re stranded and left behind by the foot guide and they’re left for dead.”