Three migrants were seriously injured when a vehicle driven by a smuggler crashed into a guardrail as he tried to escape from officers early Thursday on FM 117 near Batesville, Texas. The migrants were taken from the scene to area hospitals.
The vehicle was initially encountered by a Uvalde County sheriff’s deputy, who called for assistance from neighboring Zavala County. The unidentified driver of the vehicle lost control on the narrow rural road before sending the passengers airborne onto the roadway.
Breitbart Texas spoke with Zavala County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Ricardo Rios, who says the level of human trafficking on the roads leading away from the border is out of control. “I am currently coordinating the jail site with other counties to ensure that we continue to prosecute each of these cases,” he added.
Rios, who has been working as a Sheriff’s Chief Deputy since 2019, says human trafficking shipments are now routine, as are accidents, deaths and injuries.
The county has dealt with six human smuggling attempts on local highways since the beginning of October. On Wednesday, a truck carrying 13 migrants crashed near Batesville after the driver lost control. The migrants were ejected from the open bed and required lifeguard care. Ambulances and a rescue helicopter also rushed to the scene.
The driver in Wednesday’s incident initially tried to flee after the vehicle crashed before a tire deflator ended the pursuit. The driver was arrested after a short foot chase and faces smuggling charges.
In neighboring Maverick County, an immigrant woman lost a limb in a freight train accident. According to a source within CBP, injured immigrants are not taken into custody until they are stabilized. Next, citizenship and legal status are verified.
According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the cost of providing emergency care to injured immigrants is between $579 million and $717 million for uncompensated medical care at public hospitals.
In fiscal year 2022, a record 2.2 million immigrants were apprehended by the Border Patrol after entering the United States along the entire southwest border. Zavala County is located in the Del Rio sector, the busiest immigrant crossing station nationwide.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Director of Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol stations in the Del Rio, Texas sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.