Eight People Died in a Car Strike in Texas Border Town
Written by Hawraa Ktab
Almost 8 people have died in the US state of Texas after a car struck a group of people at a bus stop close to a shelter for the homeless and migrants. This incident happened in the city of Brownsvilie near the Mexican border at 8:30 local time (14:30 GMT). The other 5 people of the group were injured, some of them seirously injured. The driver, whose identity has not yet been made public, is still the subject of police inquiries into whether the attack was carried out with intent or by accident. In one of the Facebook post, Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez said that with investigators, the driver has "thus far been uncooperative."
The New York Times was informed by a spokesperson for the police department that they are also investigating reports that The driver made racist and anti-immigrant remarks. The spokesman added that he refused to submit to a breathalyzer test and spoke to police officers in both English and Spanish. He also used a variety of names. The video supposedly taken at the scene seems to show the driver being limited by cops and taken to a holding-up vehicle. The video, which shows the driver driving without a shirt and wearing boots that are colored like the Texas flag, cannot be independently verified by the BBC.
Victor Maldonado, the director of the nearby Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, told the BBC World Service's Newshour program that surveillance footage showed a speeding SUV approaching the bus stop after running a red light. After that, the vehicle stopped and flew about 60 meters (200 feet) into the air, hitting everyone in its path. According to Mr. Maldonado, a group of about twenty people who had been staying at the center-left walked over to the bus stop about half an hour prior to the incident. He prior let the Related Press know that the greater part of the casualties were Venezuelan men. "Most of the people we have here are single men and mothers with children. They were witnessing a tragedy right in front of their eyes. He went on to say that he had not witnessed any hostility toward migrants in the city, but he was quoted by KRGV-TV, a local media outlet, as saying that since the incident, people have come to the gate and told the security guard that the reason it happened "was because of us."
Officials with the US border protection agency say that the number of illegal immigrants arriving in Brownsville has recently skyrocketed. AP quotes Mr. Maldonado as saying to local media that the Ozanam Center, a 250-person overnight shelter, has been taking care of up to 380 people a day for the past two months. A disaster declaration was issued by Brownsville officials last month, following similar actions by other Texas border cities.