ALAMO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Fifty people died Monday after being abandoned in a tractor-trailer on a remote back road near San Antonio.
The truck was believed to be owned by a South Texas man, but the family says their trailer is parked at home and they believe it was “cloned.”
Felipe Betancourt Jr. of Alamo, Texas, says his father owns a trucking company and has a red tractor-trailer rig similar to the one discovered in San Antonio filled with the migrants who died in the sweltering heat.
He says his father’s semi-truck has been in the Rio Grande Valley since last Friday, but he says it made a shipment to Laredo last week and that’s when they believe the U.S. Department of Transportation number was duplicated, also known as cloning.
Betancourt’s father, the owner of Betancourt Trucking and Harvesting, was contacted by various news outlets Monday night concerning the truck.
“A news company, I believe San Antonio called him and said, asked him you know, his truck about his truck, this, and that, and he’s like ‘oh my truck has been running great and all day here in Raymondville area here in the Valley so I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ So, that’s how we found out. Then we started looking it up and you know, come to be that our DOT number is the one coming out you know, for the DOT that that truck over there in San Antonio has.”
Betancourt says he will work with authorities in this investigation and wants to assure the community and police that his father’s company is in no way connected to the truck in San Antonio.
He says he has heard of cases where Department of Transportation numbers are cloned, but this is the first time it’s happened to him.