Border Patrol Agent Norman R. Salinas died on Monday, August 4, 1986, at approximately 1:20 a.m. when the government van he was driving went out of control on Interstate 35, south of Cotulla, Texas. Agent Salinas was transporting Carlos Martinez Alvarenga, an illegal alien from El Salvador, to the Lasalle County Jail in Cotulla from Laredo. Lasalle County Sheriff Darwin Avant stated that Agent Salinas apparently failed to negotiate a curve. The van left the road, running onto a median, and rolling over several times before finally bursting into flames. Both Agent Salinas and Martinez Alvarenga were thrown from the van. They died before the first officers arrived on the scene.