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14 illegal immigrants killed in Texas crash

McALLEN, Texas -- A pickup truck overloaded with illegal immigrants veered off a highway and crashed into trees, killing at least 14 people and leaving nine injured, authorities said.

Agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations were looking into the human smuggling aspect of the case. A Texas Department of Public Safety team, meanwhile, investigated the cause of the Sunday evening crash in Goliad County, about 150 miles northeast of the border with Mexico.

ICE spokesman Greg Palmore said that among the 11 men and three females who died were citizens of Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras.

Gerald Bryant, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said at least 23 passengers were crammed in the truck's cab and bed, including at least two young children he saw among the dead.

The driver was among the 11 found dead at the scene, Bryant said, and investigators were trying to confirm his name. Six of those who died in the crash were still in the mangled vehicle when emergency crews arrived at the scene, Bryant said.

The white 2000 Ford F-250 pickup was heading north on U.S. 59 when it drove off the right side of the highway near the unincorporated community of Berclair and struck two large trees, Bryant said. Berclair is about 90 miles southeast of San Antonio.

Bryant told The Associated Press that several of the survivors had life-threatening injuries and their condition was "very serious." The injured were taken to hospitals in San Antonio, Victoria and Corpus Christi. -- AP

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