The following statement pertains to a death that occurred in Sonoita, Ariz., on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. This information is based on a preliminary review and may be corrected or updated in the future.
On Nov. 12, 2021, an Infiniti sedan, followed by a Toyota Camry, arrived at a U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint on State Route 83, near Sonoita, Ariz. A Border Patrol Agent working the primary inspection area noticed people laying down in the backseat area of the Infiniti and referred the vehicle to the secondary inspection area. The Infiniti accelerated quickly and fled the checkpoint. A Border Patrol Agent working in the secondary inspection area attempted to activate a remote Vehicle Immobilization Device to disable the vehicle’s tires. However, the remote VID failed to deploy, and the Infiniti left the checkpoint area at a high rate of speed.
As the Infiniti fled the area, the Toyota backed away from the primary inspection area, drove over the orange traffic cones into the southbound lane, and continued north circumventing the checkpoint. The Border Patrol Agent in the primary inspection area deployed a VID but was unable to determine if the VID affected the Toyota’s tires. The Toyota also continued north on SR 83 at a high rate of speed.
The Border Patrol Agent in the secondary inspection area got in his marked Border Patrol vehicle and drove north on SR 83. Approximately four miles north of the checkpoint, on a curve in the road, the Border Patrol agent found the Toyota Camry resting on its roof in the northbound lane of SR 83 perpendicular to the path of travel, facing east. The Border Patrol agent radioed for emergency medical personnel.
The Sonoita-Elgin Fire Department arrived at the scene and declared a male citizen of Mexico, and a second male, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, deceased. A third occupant of the vehicle, a female citizen of Mexico, was transported via air ambulance to the Banner University Medical Center, in Tucson, Ariz. The female migrant is in stable condition. The Infiniti was not located.
This incident is under investigation by the Arizona Department of Public Safety and under review by the Pima County Medical Examiner and Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General was also notified.