Eight people have died as a result of a major car crash caused by a suspected human smuggler attempting to evade police. 

On Wednesday morning, a suspected human smuggler driving an SUV full of illegal aliens hit another car head-on while trying to evade Zavala County Sheriff’s officers in Batesville, Texas. 

According to Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Lt. Christopher Olivarez, the suspected smuggler was driving eastbound and attempting to pass a truck tractor-semitrailer in a no-passing zone. The other car driving westbound was hit head-on, and upon impact, the vehicle was engulfed in flames, instantly killing the two occupants.

As a result, two Americans from Georgia, five illegal aliens from Honduras, and the suspected human smuggler from Houston died. 

Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin released images from the fatal crash. 

Olivarez told Texas Scorecard that the investigation is ongoing, and the identities of the victims will be released as next of kin is notified. 

The two Americans from Georgia have been identified as Jose and Isabel Lerma, an elderly couple driving to Mexico.

DPS is investigating the legal status of the suspected smuggler.

U.S. Rep. Tony Gonzales (R–TX) commented on the crash, saying: 

“Batesville is 20 mins from Uvalde, Texas and used to be a small quiet #TX23 town. Now our lives are turned upside down. Sensible border policy solutions can end this crisis.”

Former Congresswoman Mayra Flores also touched on the fatal crash, blaming the Biden administration’s border policies. 

“Smugglers have no regard for human life, and Americans’ lives remain at risk every day under the Biden Administration’s policies,” wrote Flores on X.

Texas DPS has encountered numerous human smuggling attempts.

A video released Tuesday by the Texas DPS and posted by Melugin shows illegal aliens bailing out of a human smuggler’s stolen SUV. The illegal aliens were seen running into the brush while being pursued by Texas DPS troopers and border patrol agents near Del Rio, Texas. 

Last summer, one of the deadliest human smuggling cases in modern history took place near Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. More than 40 illegal aliens were found dead in an abandoned tractor-trailer. Later, it was revealed that the death toll had risen to more than 50 deaths. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has called a fourth special session dedicated to education and border security. On his call, he added legislation creating criminal offenses for illegal entry into the state from a foreign nation and authorizing the removal of illegal aliens from Texas. Additionally, Abbott called for legislation to impede illegal entry into Texas by providing more funding for the construction, operation, and maintenance of border barrier infrastructure. 

The Fourth Special Session began at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 7. 

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.