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13 Dead in South Texas Pickup Truck Crash

Courtesy Texas Department of Public Safety

Thirteen people are reported dead and 10 others injured, after a pickup truck carrying 23 passengers crashed into a tree in South Texas Sunday evening.

“This is the most people I've seen in any passenger vehicle, and I've been an officer for 38 years,” Gerald Bryant, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety told the Associated Press.

Officials believe the passengers may be illegal immigrants. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Border Patrol Agents were called in to assist with the investigation. “It's unknown whether or not (the victims) were illegal, but it's possible,” Bryant told the AP.

Austin police have noted the popularity of similar trucks in the transport of undocumented immigrants before.

“The F-250s and other larger, full-sized four-door pick-up trucks are used extensively in the ‘coyote’ transport of illegal immigrants across the border,” Assistant Austin Police chief Sean Mannix said following a deadly chase involving an F-250 last month.

Meanwhile, state troopers and the Goliad county sherriff’s office are still investigating what caused the truck to veer off the road.

The white 2000 Ford F-250 pickup truck was heading north on U.S. Highway 59 when it crashed near the unincorporated area of Berclair, about 100 miles southeast of San Antonio.

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