10 Dead, More Than a Dozen Injured After Van Crashes on Texas Highway

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encino crash
encino crash

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Ten people are dead and 20 others injured after an overloaded van crashed on Wednesday at a remote highway in Texas, Sgt. Nathan Brandley of the Texas Department of Public Safety tells PEOPLE.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. on U.S. 281 near Encino, when a van carrying 30 passengers "attempted to turn right at an unsafe speed and veered off the roadway, striking a metal utility pole and a stop sign," according to a news release.

The driver of the van and nine other passengers were pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

Twenty passengers at the scene were transported to several medical centers in the area — including McAllen Medical Center, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg, Edinburg Regional Hospital, Corpus Christi Spohn Shoreline and Spohn Kleberg in Kingsville.

An investigation with the Texas Department of Public Safety is ongoing.

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The van was not involved in a pursuit at the time of the crash, Brandley told KRIS-TV.

According to Brooks County Sheriff Urbino "Benny" Martinez, the van was only designed to hold 15 passengers and was top-heavy when it tipped over on the curve, KRGV reported.

Martinez told the outlet that he believes the passengers were migrants.

Encino is a small community located approximately two miles south from the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint, a 24-hour inspection site for vehicles crossing the border.

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