On April 15, 2022, at approximately 7:46 p.m., a Border Patrol agent was parked in the median of Highway 281 north of San Manuel, Texas, when he observed a white pickup truck suspected of human smuggling. The agent followed the truck while requesting records checks. At approximately 7:47 p.m., the agent activated the vehicle’s overhead emergency lights and siren. The driver of the truck failed to yield and a vehicle pursuit ensued.
The truck traveled a short distance then crossed the median of Highway 281 and continued traveling southbound. The agent notified a Supervisory Border Patrol agent of the pursuit and reported the vehicle was traveling at approximately 75 miles per hour.
A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper witnessed the subsequent pursuit and at approximately 7:50 p.m., the trooper took over as primary in the pursuit near Highway 281 and El Rucio Road.
At approximately 7:56 p.m., after being pursued for approximately 14 and a half miles, the truck exited Highway 281 and continued eastbound in an attempt to elude law enforcement. The agent reported that he could no longer see the truck, but was able to see the Texas DPS vehicle’s emergency lights.
At approximately 7:58 p.m., the agent reported seeing the trooper’s brake lights and less than a minute later, the agent arrived at an intersection where he observed that the truck was involved in a single-vehicle collision.
The driver of the vehicle, a 50-year-old United States citizen, and one of the vehicle’s occupants, a 24-year-old female Honduran citizen, were fatally injured as a result of the collision.
Six additional occupants, including one United States citizen, and five undocumented migrants, sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to the hospital for treatment.
One of the surviving undocumented migrants was identified by Homeland Security Investigations as a smuggler and charged with felony alien smuggling.
Charges for the surviving United States citizen are pending further investigation.
This incident is being investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Investigations, and is under review by the CBP Office of Professional Responsibility.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General was also notified.