Smuggling attempt ends in deadly crash along border, police say


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — El Paso police say a failed smuggling attempt led to a deadly crash west of Downtown El Paso last week.

Police said the driver of a 2013 Mazda 3 picked up four male passengers after they crossed the border from Mexico about 4 a.m., Aug. 14. The car then proceeded east in the westbound lanes of Paisano Drive.

The wrong-way driver crashed head-on with the 21-year-old driver of a Dodge Charger near the intersection of West Paisano and Executive Center Boulevard.

Immediately after the crash, the driver of the wrong-way vehicle ran away from the scene. The driver of the Charger and all four passengers in the Mazda suffered injuries in the crash. One of the Mazda’s passengers died at the hospital.

Police say all four passengers in the Mazda had suspected fake documents from Mexico, and their identities have not been able to be confirmed.

This is the third deadly crash on Paisano involving suspected smuggling attempts since January.

In late June, seven people were killed at the same intersection after a car lost control around the same curve in Downtown El Paso. Four of those killed were El Paso residents, and three were Guatemalan nationals. Border Patrol has denied initiating any pursuit in that crash.

In late January, a woman from Ecuador was killed on Paisano near San Antonio Street when her suspected smuggler crashed during a Border Patrol pursuit. Police charged him with intoxication manslaughter.

Last week’s crash did not involve Border Patrol agents.

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