(NEW YORK) — Seven people were killed after a car suspected of smuggling migrants crashed head-on into another vehicle while allegedly evading local authorities, officials said.
The collision occurred on U.S. Highway 57 near Batesville in Zavala County on Wednesday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The driver of a Honda passenger car from Houston “suspected of human smuggling” was attempting to evade the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office at the time, Texas Department of Public Safety spokesperson Lt. Chris Olivarez said in a social media post.
The Honda driver passed an 18-wheeler in a no-passing zone then drove “head-on” into a Chevy SUV, causing that vehicle to “burst into flames,” Olivarez said.
The driver and passenger of the Chevy SUV, from Georgia, were both killed, Olivarez said.
Five passengers in the Honda, including the suspected smuggler, were also killed, Olivarez said. Several of the deceased were from Honduras, he said.
The highway was closed for several hours following the crash before reopening midday Wednesday, according to the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing.
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