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Suspected “smuggling event” at US-Mexico border leaves three dead

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Screen Shot 2018 11 29 at 8.19.05 PM
Cal
Fire San Diego firefighters work at the scene of a crash along
westbound Interstate 8 in Campo, California, November 29,
2018.


Cal
Fire



  • Three people were killed when a pickup truck suspected
    of smuggling 11 people across the US-Mexico border lost control
    and rolled over near San Diego.
  • The truck reached up to 100 mph in the rain on
    Interstate 8.
  • Border Patrol agents who pursued the vehicle deployed a
    Controlled Tire Deflation Device (CTDD) to flatten the truck’s
    tires.
  • The driver, a US citizen identified as 21-year-old Luis
    Alberto Virgen, was arrested and jailed.
  • The incident is under investigation. It is not yet
    known if agents saw passengers inside the truck’s cargo bed, a
    Border Patrol press officer told INSIDER.

Three people were killed when a pickup truck suspected of
smuggling 11 people across the US-Mexico border lost control and
rolled over, after Border Patrol agents deployed a “tire
deflation device” on Thursday night.

At around 4:10 p.m., Border Patrol agents discovered multiple
tire tracks near the border that continued northbound into the US
— a “typical sign” of smuggling activity, according to the Border
Patrol. A piece of a vehicle was also discovered in the area.

Ten minutes later, agents discovered a Chevy Silverado that was
missing an identical part of the vehicle they found, the Border
Patrol and the
San Diego Union-Tribune
reported. Agents signaled for the
truck to stop, but the driver fled, prompting a 100 mile-per-hour
chase in the rain on Interstate 8.

Agents eventually used a Controlled Tire Deflation Device (CTDD)
to flatten the truck’s tires, causing the truck to lose control
one minute later. As it drove to the side of the highway, it
crashed and rolled over, according to the Border Patrol.

Three of the 11 passengers were ejected and pronounced dead at
the scene. Seven of the passengers were hospitalized.

The driver, a US citizen identified as 21-year-old Luis Alberto
Virgen, was arrested and jailed.

The incident is being investigated. It is not yet known whether
agents saw passengers inside the truck’s cargo bed, a Border
Patrol press officer told INSIDER.

The Border Patrol’s policy allows certified agents to use the
CTDD only “when the immediate or potential danger … is less
than the immediate or potential danger to the public” should the
suspect vehicle continues driving.

“The CTDD shall be deployed in a manner that minimizes risk of
injury to persons or damage to property,” a 2014 Border Patrol
guideline said.

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