ZAVALA COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) reported eight deaths Wednesday following a two-vehicle crash near Batesville, Texas — about 20 minutes south of Uvalde in south Texas.
It happened around 6:30 a.m. when the driver of a Honda Civic hauling migrants and trying to outrun deputies from the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office tried to pass a semi truck on a two-lane road, DPS said.
While evading, the suspect’s vehicle caused a head-on collision with another vehicle, a Chevy Equinox, which was then engulfed in flames, killing its two occupants, DPS said.
The driver in the suspected smuggler vehicle died, along with five passengers, according to authorities.
Texas DPS officers have confirmed that multiple deceased passengers are from Honduras, Texas DPS spokesman Christopher Olivarez said in a statement. Two people in the Equinox also died, he said. They were from Georgia.
Officials said the investigation was ongoing as DPS investigates the fatal crash.
It is the latest deadly vehicle crash involving migrants, marking the highest death toll since 13 people died in a collision in remote Holtville, California, in March 2021.
Local law enforcement agencies have been involved in fatal crashes as well in recent years. In June 2022, four migrants were killed in a smuggling attempt following a police chase in the South Texas city of Encinal.
Identities of those killed will be released to their families first, Olivarez said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.