An overloaded van carrying 29 migrants has crashed on a remote highway in southern Texas, killing at least 10 people, including the driver, and injuring 20 others.
Sergeant Nathan Brandley of the Texas Department of Public Safety says the van, designed to hold 15 passengers, was speeding in Encino on Wednesday afternoon as the driver tried to veer off the highway onto another road.
He lost control of the top-heavy van, which slammed into a metal utility pole and a stop sign.
The van was not being pursued, Brooks County Sheriff Urbino said.
Martinez said he believed all the passengers were migrants. Brandley said the death toll was initially announced as 11 but was revised.
He also said the 20 who survived the initial crash all have serious to critical injuries.
No information about the van, including where it was registered or who owned it, was immediately released.
Encino is a small community about three kilometres south of the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint.
A surge in migrants crossing the border illegally has brought about an uptick in the number of crashes involving vehicles jammed with migrants who pay large amounts to be smuggled into the country.
The Dallas Morning News has reported the recruitment of young drivers for the smuggling runs, combined with excessive speed and reckless driving by those youths, have led to horrific crashes.
One of the deadliest crashes came on March 3, when 13 people were killed when a semi-trailer slammed into an SUV containing 25 migrants near Holtville, California.
Australian Associated Press