Brownsville, Texas – Eight individuals have lost their lives, and 10 more sustained injuries after a vehicle crashed into a group of people near a migrant and homeless shelter, on Sunday. Authorities are investigating the possibility that the act was intentional.
A car slammed into a crowd of individuals who were waiting at a bus stop close to the Ozanam Center around 8.30 am, according to the Brownsville police department, located near the Texas-Mexico border. This incident occurred just four days before the planned expiration of Title 42, a Covid-19 policy that enables border patrol agents to quickly expel migrants at the southern border of the United States.
Victor Maldonado, the director of the shelter, informed the Associated Press that after examining the surveillance footage from the shelter, he saw an SUV ignoring a traffic light and hitting the crowd waiting at the bus stop. Most of the injured or deceased were Venezuelan men.
Breaking News: At least seven people were killed in Brownsville, Texas, on Sunday after the driver of a vehicle plowed into a crowd of migrants. https://t.co/iRqFV5o63C
Maldonado described how the SUV, a Range Rover, ignored a traffic light about a hundred feet away and drove straight into the crowd at the bus stop. Police lieutenant Martin Sandoval confirmed to Valley Central that seven victims died on the scene, and several others were taken to nearby hospitals. The death toll rose to eight when another victim passed away on Sunday night.
Online video footage depicted people gathered at the scene, with clothing and personal belongings scattered across the road. Some individuals were seen attending to a person lying on a grassy area.
Sandoval stated that the driver was arrested and charged with reckless driving, with the possibility of additional charges as officers suspect the act may have been intentional. He explained that it could be due to intoxication, an accident, or intentional, and they need to rule out the other two possibilities.
The driver was taken to a nearby hospital for injuries sustained when the car rolled over, and he was alone in the vehicle. Sandoval added that the driver was uncooperative at the hospital, but would be transferred to the city jail upon release. Officers will fingerprint him and take a mug shot to determine his true identity after he provided multiple names.
Authorities have collected a blood sample from the driver to test for potential intoxicants.
The Ozanam Center is Brownsville’s only overnight shelter, handling the release of thousands of migrants from federal custody and providing free transportation for them. Maldonado told the Associated Press that they receive 250 to 380 migrants daily over the past two months. Although the shelter can accommodate up to 250 migrants, many depart on the same day they arrive.
He mentioned that some of the victims were on their way to the bus station, heading towards their final destination.
Alejandro Mayorkas, the US homeland security secretary, stated on Friday that immigration authorities were facing “extremely challenging” circumstances along the Mexico border just days before Title 42 asylum restrictions were due to end.
Over the past two weeks, a significant increase in Venezuelan migrants has been observed in south Texas, particularly in Brownsville, for reasons that remain unclear to Mayorkas. On Thursday, 4,000 out of around 6,000 migrants in border patrol custody in the Rio Grande valley of Texas were Venezuelan.
Although this recent tragedy has shocked the local community, it’s important to consider the broader context of safety in Texas by examining the crime rates and safety measures in the state’s most dangerous cities for a better understanding of the overall situation.
I am a Business Economics graduate from Singidunum University in Novi Sad, currently contributing to the Southwest Journal as a content creator and SEO team lead strategist. My professional journey includes a two-year period in Ocean City, USA, and extensive travels throughout Canada, experiences that have enriched my global outlook and influenced my writing style. Professionally, I am dedicated to producing engaging content and effective SEO strategies. Outside of work, I enjoy skiing and exploring new adventures, always valuing the power of human connections. My diverse skills and passion for life drive my success in various endeavors.
Southwestjournal.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.