Horrific head-on crash leaves 8 dead after suspect smuggling 5 illegal aliens led Texas police on high-speed chase

Eight people are dead after a horrific
head-on crash in Texas when a human smuggler transporting five illegal aliens led police on a high-speech chase.

Zavala County Sheriff’s deputies were in pursuit of a Honda Civic on U.S. Highway 57 early Wednesday when the vehicle tried to pass an 18-wheeler in a no-passing zone and crashed into a Chevy SUV.

The two occupants of the Chevy SUV died immediately after it burst into flames. Four immigrants in the car also died along with the 21-year-old human smuggler from Houston. Police said they were from Honduras.

Two occupants of the Chevy SUV were later identified as 67-year-old Jose Lerma and 65-year-old Isabel Lerma of Dalton, Georgia.

Zavala County Sheriff Eusebio Salinas said that human smuggling has become a growing problem in the area because US-57 connects to a main road to Mexico.

“At one point we were averaging 10 to 12 pursuits in a 24-hour period. Yes, that’s an eye-opener, especially in a county my size,” he said.

“57 is one of our major corridors to Mexico, to Piedras Negras from IH-35,” Salinas explained. “Last year alone we had over 400 arrests of human smuggling cases.”

Rebeca Ramirez, the owner of Rebeca Styling Salon in the area, told KSAT-TV she had a nickname for the highway.

“I call it the death road because it’s too much traffic going out from Eagle Pass, San Antonio, and it’s just chaos,” said Ramirez.

In October, law enforcement members in Arizona warned that human traffickers were using social media to recruit drivers to pick up illegal aliens and transport them across the country. One officer called it the “Uber for the cartels.”

Here’s a local news report about the horrific car crash:

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