YUMA, Ariz. – A Wellton Station Border Patrol agent responded to a citizen’s call regarding two men in distress on Interstate 8 near Gila Bend and found the pair in obvious need of medical assistance.
The agent was soon joined by a Department of Public Safety trooper and both provided first aid while waiting for Emergency Medical Services to arrive.
While rendering aid, the agent learned the two men were part of a larger group, possibly in distress. Other agents arrived on scene, backtracked a trail leading to a third individual – found unconscious – and immediately started resuscitation efforts.
EMS soon arrived and the three individuals were flown by helicopter to a hospital in Good Year. Unfortunately, one of the three individuals, a 17-year-old Mexican national, later died.
Agents continued with backtracking operations and found eight more individuals also in need of medical assistance for excessive dehydration.
“This is an example of the commitment and dedication Border Patrol agents have in protecting the sanctity of human life,” said Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Anthony J. Porvaznik. “Their diligence and quick actions prevented any further injury or loss of life.”
As of this release, the first two victims remain hospitalized under federal custody.
Agents identified the group as nine Mexican nationals and two Honduran nationals; one of whom is suspected of smuggling. He has been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and could face alien smuggling charges resulting in death. All others are in federal custody for immigration violations.
Citizens can help the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection by calling 1-866-999-8727 toll-free to report suspicious activity. Callers can remain anonymous.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.