Monday, July 23, 2012

14 Illegal Immigrants Killed After Truck Lost Control In South Texas

Local and federal authorities continue to investigate an accident that claimed 14 lives in Goliad County south Texas.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 23, 2012

Goliad, Texas - On Monday, local, county and federal authorities continued at the scene near Goliad where 14 suspected undocument immigrants from Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala died in an accident. Police say, the accident was reported on around 7:00 p.m. on Sunday evening.
The preliminary investigation indicated that the driver, Ricardo Mendoza Pineda who also died in the accident was doing up to 75 MPH when he lost control of the pick-up truck on highway 59 (a rural highway) after a tire blew out and struck some trees. There were 23 people packed in the truck and were being smuggled into the U.S. at the time of the accident, police reported.
At least six people were seating in the front cab of the Ford F-250 truck, including two teenage girls that died and Pineda. The rest of the passengers were located in the back bed. Most of the victims were thrown up to 60 feet from the accident.
The owner of the truck told investigators, that he had sold the truck about a month ago. Police are trying to locate the person that purchased the truck, including people involved in the alleged smuggling operation.
Among the dead, 11 men and three women were confirmed dead and nine were reported injured. Investigators and agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement have identified nine victims. The Mexican Consulate in San Antonio confirmed that the only Mexican national killed in the crash was a 22-year-old victim from Tamaulipas.
Most of the other victims carried no identification with them. Some of the surviving victims included children, according to police.

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