Eight people were killed when a driver suspected of human smuggling attempted to evade authorities and collided head-on with another vehicle, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Wednesday.
The accident occurred around 6:30 a.m. on U.S. Highway 57 near Batesville, about 83 miles southwest of San Antonio.
The 21-year-old driver, who was in a Honda, had evaded authorities from the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office and “passed an 18-wheeler in a no-passing zone,” Lt. Chris Olivarez, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said via email and in a post on X.
The driver crashed head-on into a Chevrolet SUV, causing the vehicle to burst into flames, Olivarez said. Photos released by the agency showed both vehicles completely mangled and debris strewn across the highway.
Six people were in the Honda, Olivarez said. Two people from Georgia were in the Chevrolet SUV. All were killed, officials said.
Several of the people in the Honda were from Honduras, Olivarez said.
The names are being withheld until family members can be found, authorities said. The crash is still under investigation.
Last year, More than 50 migrants were found dead on an abandoned big oil rig in the sweltering heat of San Antonio in what is believed to be the deadliest human smuggling case in modern U.S. history. The discovery was made when a person working in the area heard someone screaming for help and discovered at least one body, officials said.
Several accidents, some fatal, have also been linked to human smuggling cases. Last November, One person was killed and 11 others were hospitalized in La Joya, Texas, about 5 miles from the Mexican border, when the driver evaded law enforcement and ignored a red light. Because of the large number of people involved, authorities suspected the case was human smuggling.
A A similar crash occurred in Encinal, Texas. in June 2022, when four migrants were killed and two others were injured when a vehicle carrying the migrants collided with a TNI Trucking Co. vehicle.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com