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HomePropertyDriver in lethal Texas crash charged with manslaughter – Hartford Courant

Driver in lethal Texas crash charged with manslaughter – Hartford Courant


BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — An SUV driver who killed eight folks when he slammed into a gaggle ready at a bus cease in Brownsville, Texas, was charged with manslaughter, police stated Monday as investigators tried to find out if the crash was intentional.

Authorities imagine driver George Alvarez, 34, of Brownsville, misplaced management after working a pink gentle Sunday morning, and plowed right into a crowd outdoors a migrant middle within the metropolis, which has lengthy been an epicenter for migration throughout the U.S.-Mexico border.

Police Chief Felix Sauceda stated Alvarez was charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a lethal weapon. Officers are awaiting toxicology experiences to find out whether or not Alvarez was intoxicated, Sauceda stated, including that there was no motive that he may talk about. Requested about experiences from witnesses that Alvarez was cursing at them, Sauceda stated there was nothing to verify that but.

The SUV ran a pink gentle, misplaced management, flipped on its aspect and hit 18 folks, Sauceda informed reporters Monday morning. Six folks died on the scene and 12 folks had been critically injured, he stated. Officers have stated the loss of life toll rose later.

Alvarez tried to flee, however was held down by a number of folks on the scene, he stated. His bail was set at $3.6 million.

Victims struck by the car had been ready for the bus to return to downtown Brownsville after spending the night time on the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Middle, stated Sister Norma Pimentel, govt director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley. The middle is the one in a single day shelter within the metropolis and manages the discharge of 1000’s of migrants from federal custody.

The victims had been all male and a number of other of them had been from Venezuela, Sauceda stated. The division is working with representatives of Venezuela and different international locations. Legislation enforcement and shelter officers haven’t made public the identities of the victims killed.

Surveillance video from the Ozanam Middle confirmed among the victims sitting on the curb after they had been hit on the bus cease.

“This SUV, a Vary Rover, simply ran the sunshine that was about 100 toes (30 meters) away and simply went by the individuals who had been sitting there within the bus cease,” stated shelter director Victor Maldonado, who reviewed the surveillance video.

Some folks strolling on the sidewalk about 30 toes (9 meters) from the primary group had been additionally hit, Maldonado stated.

On Monday morning, Jackson Duarte, 30, a Venezuelan migrant, was sporting a haircut from a pal he made on the Ozanam shelter, the place they had been each staying. It was the final haircut he’d obtain from him.

Duarte stated three folks he met on the shelter had been among the many victims; two of them died whereas a 3rd is within the hospital with a lacking limb. He stated certainly one of his buddies who was killed was a barber, and the opposite was a younger man who had lately celebrated a birthday.

Shortly earlier than the crash, Duarte had determined to share an Uber with a pal reasonably than look forward to the bus downtown. It was throughout that journey that Duarte started receiving messages concerning the deadly accident by Whatsapp.

“After I bought there, the survivors had already been taken. I counted about seven individuals who had died,” Duarte recalled.

Duarte stated his pal, whom he described as a studious and impressive younger man, was going downtown to reunite together with his mom after crossing the border. Solely Duarte made it to the bus station.

“Sadly, I needed to share that together with his mother,” Duarte stated. “She was determined, as a result of her son had simply turned 18 years previous they usually had gone by a lot making an attempt to get right here simply in order that he’d lose his life right here.”

Duarte’s different pal, the barber, was additionally heading downtown to search for a cellphone after elevating cash by providing haircuts, he had informed Duarte.

Duarte stated his pal informed him “We’ll see one another in a bit,” and that it was one of many final issues his pal stated to him.

“It hit me actually onerous. I nonetheless really feel dangerous. I don’t imagine it. I don’t really feel properly. I couldn’t sleep all night time,” Duarte stated, breaking down as he thought of his buddies who misplaced their lives.

“I believe the group as a complete is in mourning for the lack of the souls,” Cameron County Choose Eddie Trevino stated Monday. “It’s a horrible tragic occasion. And regardless, whether or not it was intentional or unintentional, it doesn’t matter. These now eight people that misplaced their lives and the opposite 10 which can be hospitalized, we’re praying for them and for his or her households.”

No information was shared indicating whether or not the motive force struck the group of individuals deliberately as a hate crime.

“I hope it wasn’t,” Trevino stated. “The indications are this was only a horrible, tragic accident.”

The Ozanam middle stays at capability, however there are plans to increase the variety of sleeping areas from 250 to 380 an evening. In the course of the day, migrants are free to hunt employment to pay bus fare or aircraft tickets that price tons of of {dollars}.

“They stand right here at seven within the morning,” Victor Maldonado, govt director of the Ozanam shelter, stated Monday. “They get picked as much as go do odd jobs, paint, minimize yards — they get their cash they usually transfer on.”

Brownsville has seen a marked improve of Venezuelan migrants over the past two weeks for causes that aren’t but clear, authorities stated. The latest improve within the variety of migrants prompted Brownsville commissioners to indefinitely lengthen a declaration of emergency throughout a particular assembly final week.

Roughly 30,000 migrants, principally from Venezuela, have entered the U.S. within the area since mid-April. That’s in contrast with 1,700 migrants Border Patrol brokers encountered within the first two weeks of April.



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