7 killed as car ploughs into Texas bus stop crowd

Photo Courtesy of Bangkok Post

At least seven people lost their lives yesterday in South Texas, and several others were injured when a vehicle crashed into a group of individuals waiting at a bus stop outside a migrant aid centre. The police currently consider the incident an accident; however, a witness claimed that the driver had shouted insults at the group before speeding up.

The grey sport utility vehicle “ran a red light and hit several people” around 8:30am in Brownsville, a border city at the southernmost point of Texas, according to local police spokesperson Martin Sandoval. He stated that seven people died and nearly ten others were injured in the accident.

Luis Herrera, a 36 year old Venezuelan and a witness to the incident, told how the crash was “sudden.” Herrera explained how a woman had driven by, warning them to get out of the way, and moments later, the perpetrator approached in their car, gesturing and insulting them. Herrera then described how the driver accelerated the vehicle to full force.

The motorist was detained by witnesses and later taken to the hospital. For now, the individual has been charged with reckless driving. “More than likely there’s going to be other charges coming later,” Sandoval said without specifying what the additional charges might entail.

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Authorities have initiated an investigation to determine whether the fatal accident was intentional or not, Sandoval confirmed.

The victims were among a group of around 25 people waiting at a bus stop, according to Victor Maldonado, the executive director of the Ozanam Center, a homeless shelter situated across the street from the crash site. Maldonado said the entire group were Venezuelan and had just eaten breakfast at the centre. He depicted a gruesome scene, with body parts scattered along the street, and witnesses left “really shocked.” Maldonado described the situation as “pretty intense.”

The homeless centre operates 24 hours a day, catering for individuals from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, China, Ukraine, and numerous Venezuelans, Maldonado added.

At least some of the victims were migrants, Sandoval confirmed, although he could not verify whether all of them were. “It’s something that we are investigating with the border police,” he said.

The incident occurred as authorities prepare for the removal of a Donald Trump-era federal policy, known as Title 42, which permits border patrol officers to deport or reject migrants without even accepting their asylum applications. The policy’s expiry on Thursday has raised concerns about a potential surge in undocumented migrants entering the United States, reports Bangkok Post.

The tragic event also follows a separate, unrelated incident on a previous day, when a shooter claimed the lives of at least eight individuals at a shopping mall in Texas, marking the latest mass shooting to shake the country.

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With a Bachelor's Degree in English, Jenn has plenty of experience writing and editing on different topics. After spending many years teaching English in Thailand, Jenn has come to love writing about Thai culture and the experience of being an ex-pat in Thailand. During long holidays, she travels to North of Thailand just to have Khao Soi!

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