On March 7, 2022, at approximately 11:07 p.m. MST, a Border Patrol camera operator observed a group of suspected undocumented migrants load into a vehicle on Interstate 19’s East Frontage Road, near Amado, Ariz. in the vicinity of kilometer post 42. This area is two-tenths of a mile south of Amado Mantosa Road and approximately 26 miles north of the Nogales Port of Entry. The camera operator alerted Border Patrol agents of the location via radio.
A Border Patrol agent, driving an unmarked F150 pickup truck equipped for canine duty, responded to the area and observed a Blue Honda Ridgeline pickup truck pass him going northbound on East Frontage Road. As the vehicle passed him, the Border Patrol agent observed multiple people in the rear passenger area. Suspecting this was the vehicle identified by the camera operator, the Border Patrol agent caught up to the vehicle and attempted to perform a vehicle stop. The driver of the pickup truck failed to yield to the Border Patrol agent’s emergency equipment and a vehicle pursuit ensued. The pursuing Border Patrol agent requested assistance from Border Patrol agents in the area, and asked dispatch to notify air assets, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Tucson Station Border Patrol agents. Two additional Border Patrol vehicles immediately responded.
At approximately 11:10 p.m. MST, the driver of the pickup lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle collided with a tree and rolled over, resulting in two fatalities and several injuries. Border Patrol agents immediately rendered assistance and requested Emergency Medical Services from the surrounding areas.
The driver, a male United States Citizen, and one of the passengers, a male Mexican Citizen, were pronounced dead at the scene. The remaining five occupants sustained serious injuries and were transported to the Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, Ariz.
The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner determined that both decedents died as a result of blunt force trauma.
This incident is being investigated by Arizona Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Investigations, and is being reviewed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility.