McALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — An overnight vehicle chase through the tiny South Texas border town of Rio Bravo, resulted in four deaths, including three migrants, Rio Bravo Fire Chief Juan Gonzalez told Border Report.
A 19-year-old U.S. citizen from the nearby town of El Cenizo died in the chase with Border Patrol, which Gonzalez said ended around 3:45 a.m. Saturday. The man reportedly had been driving the Chrysler vehicle, which had six migrants, Gonzalez said.
The vehicle got to speeds of 60 mph in a 30 mph zone of Paseo del Tiber Road, in Rio Bravo, when “he first hit a fence then bounced off and hit a light pole cutting it in half. It was airborne when six people were ejected and the car landed on its roof,” Gonzalez said.
The road is on the northern side of town near Highway 83, which leads to Laredo, and the Interstate 35 corridor many coyotes and migrants take to Austin and other Texas cities.
Gonzalez said the 19-year-old driver and one man who was trapped inside the overturned vehicle died at the scene. Two men in the vehicle were taken to Laredo Medical Center where they died.
He said two women in the vehicle were also injured but listed in stable condition on Monday. The condition of the other person was not immediately known, though they are not believed to have been seriously injured.
Gonzalez said it was a violent and “eye-opening” night in the small town of Rio Bravo, which has only one stoplight and a population of less than 5,000.
In a statement to Border Report, a CBP spokeswoman said U.S. Border Patrol agents were involved in a “failure to yield incident” that resulted in a single-vehicle crash with multiple fatalities and injuries.
CBP said that the Webb County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash, which is under review by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Immigration Customs and Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General also was notified.
The town is located southeast of Laredo and across from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Gonzalez told Border Report last week that he endorses the state of Texas building a border wall in the tiny twin border cities of Rio Bravo and El Cenizo, where he lives.
“Here’s one prime example of why we need the wall,” Gonzalez said. “It’s getting out of hand.”
“If we had a wall from El Cenizo covering all way passing Rio Bravo we won’t be having these incidents,” he said.
About 50 townsfolk attended a meeting on Feb. 20 at Rio Bravo’s City Hall held by a nonprofit organization, the No Border Wall Coalition of Laredo, which opposes the building of a border wall through Webb and Zapata counties.
It is unclear exactly where the wall will go, but The Texas Facilities Commission — the state agency overseeing Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s new border wall — in January awarded a $224 million contract to Fisher Sand & Gravel Company for 9 miles to be built somewhere in Zapata and Webb counties.