Three people perished after a pickup truck carrying 11 people flipped over after reaching speeds above 100 mph during a high-speed chase near the border with Mexico.
Border Patrol agents attempted to stop the white Chevrolet Silverado in eastern San Diego County on Nov. 29, but the driver refused to stop.
Instead, the driver sped to dangerously high speeds on Interstate 8 westbound before eventually losing control and flipping over in Boulevard.
Witnesses told California Highway Patrol officers that the pickup was weaving in and out of traffic and passing other vehicles using both the center median and right shoulder, reported the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The flip was preceded by the Silverado running over a spike strip that Border Patrol agents deployed. The driver was identified as a United States citizen and was among the injured, Border Patrol agents said. The pickup truck became airborne and rolled down a dirt embankment before landing on the main lanes of the highway.
Authorities said two people were riding in the truck’s cab while the rest were lying in the bed of the pick-up. Only the driver was believed to have been wearing a seatbelt.
Cal Fire said that out of 11 injured in the crash, three died from their injuries, three were suffering from major injuries, and five had minor injuries.
Among the dead was the only female of the group, who was riding in the cab.
Crashes Near Border
Crashes around the border aren’t uncommon as vehicles loaded with illegal immigrants are sometimes spotted by the authorities and dangerously speed up in an attempt to evade them. One such accident, which left a number of illegal immigrants dead, was detailed in the book “Crossing Over” by Ruben Martinez.
In April, a horse trailer carrying at least 18 illegal immigrants crashed about 15 miles north of the border.
Six of the 19 people were rushed to hospitals in the area with serious injuries.
A woman who was driving behind the horse trailer over the weekend told California Highway Patrol agents that the two-axle, four-horse trailer being hauled by the pickup began to fishtail; the driver was unable to maintain control and the truck drifted off the freeway; the trailer then separated from the truck and tipped onto its right side.
In another case in June, five people died after at least 12 were ejected from a Chevy Suburban SUV carrying illegal immigrants after a high-speed chase with Border Patrol vehicles near the Texas-Mexico border.
Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd said the driver reached speeds in excess of 100 mph and added that”good police work” prompted deputies to start pursuing the vehicles. Two other vehicles marked as suspicious pulled over but the third driver refused.