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Woman Recounts Witnessing Human Smuggling Bust, Rollover

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NEAR DONNA – Authorities continue to investigate a human smuggling case that ended in a serious rollover accident on Sunday.

The accused smugglers are a Honduran juvenile and a Rio Grande Valley woman.

According to court documents, the driver of the vehicle at the time of the crash was the Honduran minor who was in the country illegally.

Officials said a toddler was among the 18 people inside the suburban.

Resident Maria Briseno lives south of Donna near the intersection of Soderquist Road and Ponciana Street. She was surprised to witness the rollover crash near her home.

“There was one truck being followed by two U.S. Border Patrol vehicles, and when he attempted to turn he was going too fast and flipped over,” she said.

Briseno said she watched how the chase continued on foot.

“Seventeen people that the man was transporting. He got down and ran through the fields. More officers showed up and chased him all the way down to the labor and they did catch him,” she said.

Briseno said she noticed children emerging form the flipped SUV. She said multiple people needed medical attention.

“Yes, he had a girl that was about 4 years old… Three people were taken by ambulance,” the resident said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to find out more information about the incident.

The agency told us the 16 passengers, who are believed to have been smuggled into the country illegally, were from Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador.

Federal agents and Hidalgo County constables continue investigating.

Count on us to bring you more details as they become available. 

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