Skip to comments.Death was last stop on journey for packed pickup's immigrants(15 illegal aliens now dead)
Posted on 07/25/2012 6:14:42 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch
BERCLAIR Bloodstained pavement, gashed tree trunks and a twisted barbed-wire fence marked the end of a desperate journey.
On Sunday night, 22 Central Americans and their Mexican-born driver piled into a white Ford F-250 for what would be the last stage on their trip north. They crammed themselves into the truck's cab and lay down in its bed one atop another as the vehicle cruised along U.S. 59 between Beeville and Goliad.
By Monday, more than half were dead. Most died at the scene, and the others died at hospitals to which they'd been rushed after the overloaded truck careened off the road and slammed into a large, twin-trunked oak tree.
It's certainly disturbing when you walk up and see the yellow and blue blankets that you know are covering victims, and realize that there are still five or six bodies in the vehicle because it's so badly damaged that they can't get them out, Goliad County Judge David Bowman said.
It was the county's deadliest incident in recent memory, said Bowman, who performed the gruesome task of pronouncing 11 people dead at the scene. Three more died at hospitals Sunday and Monday. Among the dead was the driver.
Ten men and three women, two of them juveniles, all believed to be in the country illegally, traveled thousands of miles from Central America to have their lives end on this rural stretch of highway. Nine more were in hospitals across the state Monday evening, including five in San Antonio. According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they came from Guatemala and Honduras. Officials said they were still working to identify the victims.
Some of them are crossing on their own and are crossing the border on their own in very dangerous situations, said Father Stan DeBoe, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Victoria. Some die of exposure, and others are left to the elements. And then I would assume much like the group that was in the wreck, they were probably paying people very large amounts to bring them across. They come across in very large groups in dangerous vehicles.
Berclair is about 40 miles from Victoria, the site of one of the country's deadliest smuggling incidents.
In 2003, 19 immigrants died in a trailer after the driver abandoned them at a truck stop. Trapped inside, they died of asphyxia, dehydration and hyperthermia.
The driver, Tyrone Mapletoft Williams, 41, a Jamaican immigrant, was sentenced to life in prison.
In April, nine immigrants were killed near Palmview in the Rio Grande Valley when the van in which they were being smuggled rolled over while fleeing the Border Patrol.
State officials charged a 15-year-old with murder, saying he was the vehicle's driver.
In both cases, ICE agents went on to round up and charge others they alleged were part of the smuggling organizations.
Like many highways in South Texas, U.S. 59 is used by human and drug smugglers, Goliad County sheriff's Capt. Tom Copeland said.
It is a corridor from Laredo to parts north, he said. As far as it being a big smuggling corridor, it's easy access for them.
The crash shut down U.S. 59 for hours north of Berclair, a ranching and oil town about 100 miles southeast of San Antonio.
DPS Trooper Gerald Bryant said tire failure might have caused the wreck.
The truck, registered to an owner in Houston who said he sold it a couple of months ago, wasn't being pursued, Bryant said.
Two adults and a young boy remained at University Hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday, but their conditions weren't available. Two other men were in critical condition at San Antonio Military Medical Center, a hospital spokesman said.
Most of the passengers were in the truck's bed, which didn't have a shell or any other covering, said Mary Jane Martin, public information officer for emergency management for the city and county of Goliad.
Bryant told the Associated Press that this is the most people I've seen in any passenger vehicle, and I've been an officer for 38 years.
The passengers in the truck's bed were very cramped, lying on top of each other, in any which way they could fit, Bryant said.
With human smuggling, that is very common just to load in as many people as they can, he said.
Bowman, the county judge, included the victims in a prayer that opened Monday's Commissioners Court meeting.
He said a crisis intervention session was planned Monday night in Goliad to help emergency responders cope with what they saw.
Any time you go out and you have to handle broken bodies, that can be traumatic for even the most seasoned responder, he said.
The crash also shook nearby residents.
It was just shocking for the whole town, said Norma Jean Garcia, a clerk at the Berclair Country Store, which stayed open late Sunday to serve the law enforcement officers who worked the wreck.
They had never seen something so ugly, said Garcia, 51, who gave bottled water to the officers who reopened the highway after midnight.
The tragedy made national news of the town formerly best known as a favorite hunting site of then-President George H.W. Bush and for a supposedly haunted local mansion, said Country Store customer Dela Galindo, 62.
Now it will be known for one of the worst crashes in Texas history, residents said.
It was horrible, especially since little children were involved, Galindo said.
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Death-was-last-stop-on-journey-for-packed-3726682.php#ixzz21dgJVKyE
Ban Ford F-250 trucks now!!
been waiting for this to hit the news.
The Good Lord could have easily have placed me and my family in their position. I could have been leaving my home because of economic depression, political oppression and hoping for freedom and security in a new land.
Got news for some people, give Obama the power many of us may have to hide in a vehicle to cross into Canada to flee oppressive nanny stae Federal law and political ethnic cleansing.
So I have a somber view about this, a tragedy but it could have happened to any of us in an alternate realty. maybe it has.
obama voters come to spread communism
A guy in TX casually overloads a truck one evening, takes his eyes off the road for a few seconds and kills 15 people.
And the conclusion drawn by the MSM is that the 2A should be abolished.
So where is the Border Patrol? Don't they work at night or is it only a 9-5 job? From the report, it sounds like apprehending illegals here would be easy.
they have been told not to..remember ...obama needs voters.
They should flood this road end of story! Make it a nice lake.
They can’t cost the US anything now!
The U.S. taxpayer will pay the hospital bills for the badly injured survivors. It will make the few thousand dollars they paid the coyote look like chicken feed. We pay through the nose for illegal aliens sneaking into the country. I do not sympathize with them.
As O’Really would say, “Ban heavy pickups.”
This must be the alternate reality where your brain is twisted.
This must be the alternate reality where your brain is twisted.
Build a fence and greet them with a bullet and these useless deaths will end. Who is more insane these desperate people packing themselves into that truck or our Government that refuses to act to stem the human flood out of Mexico?
All those severely injured occupying I.C.U. beds are costing tax payers plenty, bodies have to be buried or sent back to Central America too. We're not through paying for this, by a long shot.
In April, nine immigrants were killed...
I notice the word "illegal" does not precede the word "immigrants" in this article.
Hmmmm... wonder why that is...
“As OReally would say, Ban heavy pickups.”
Did you watch the Bloviator last night with his rant on “heavy weaponry”? The guy is DANGEROUS!
My wife left the den because she couldn’t stand my yelling at the TV.
The cause of this was Obama’s public renouncement of enforcing our immigration laws. Watch for more of these types of accidents.