A Texas Department of Public Safety pursuit of a van smuggling undocumented migrants reached speeds over 100 mph before ending in a crash late Monday night near the University of Texas at El Paso, officials said.
The driver was arrested by state troopers and seven migrants were turned over to the U.S. Border Patrol. Two migrants suffered injuries, including a broken nose and facial scrapes, the DPS said in a statement.
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The pursuit began about 11 p.m. when a state trooper attempted to pull over a green 1999 Dodge van for a signal-lane change violation, the DPS said.
The van sped off and reached speeds over 100 mph in a chase that traveled about 5 miles before the van crashed after exiting Spur 1966 near UTEP. The driver and migrants “bailed out” of the vehicle but were soon taken into custody, the DPS said.
The van’s alleged driver, Juan M. Escobedo, 34, of Las Cruces, was arrested on felony charges of evading arrest in a motor vehicle and smuggling of persons with the likelihood of serious injury or death, according to an El Paso County Jail log.
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Escobedo is being held at the jail in Downtown El Paso under a total bond of $40,000.
The crash comes amid an ongoing string of similar vehicle chases of smugglers transporting groups of undocumented migrants in the El Paso area.