A 15-year-old Texan boy has been charged with nine counts of murder after the van he was driving crashed, killing nine illegal immigrants and wounding for more. The gutted van had been stuffed with 19 illegal immigrants; they were pulled over,and one of them ran for it, after which the van took off only to crash a few blocks later. Of the four illegal immigrants who escaped, two have been apprehended.
The boy will also be charged with one account of evading. He claims he drove the van because his family was threatened.
A 23-year-old witness to the aftermath of the wreck, Diana Castillo, said that amidst the backpacks and water bottles, “the bodies were still moving. The bodies were everywhere,” and added that “It’s really sad they came over here to live a better life and then they lost their lives.”
The van crashed at 10:30 p.m. on U.S. Route 83 despite the fair weather and despite that fact that the police were not pursuing them. “at this point, there is no reason to believe there was a pursuit,” said Border Patrol spokesman Enrique Mendiola.
The boy has also been charged with 17 counts of smuggling a person. All the illegal immigrants were men and Mexican citizens.