Arizona SUV Rollover Kills 9 Immigrants

Criminal charges have been filed on Tuesday against a man believed to be behind the wheel during a SUV rollover crash that killed nine illegal immigrants and injured a dozen more. Survivors of the crash claimed the driver was 20-year-old Adan Pineda, of Mexico. The driver of the SUV was in federal custody and charged with one count of transporting illegal aliens, said Russell Ahr, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The sport utility vehicle was carrying 21 people when the driver tried to circumvent a checkpoint on a highway more than 30 miles north of Yuma, authorities said. With Border Patrol agents in pursuit, the driver attempted to make a U-turn and the SUV rolled over. Five of the injured, including a pregnant woman, were hospitalized in critical condition in Phoenix, most with head trauma. Investigators said the passengers were likely stacked inside the SUV at the time of the accident.

Reasons for Arizona SUV Rollover

As the government has put more agents and surveillance technology at the border in recent years, smugglers are turning to more remote areas, where their drivers are unfamiliar with the rugged terrain and can overturn vehicles with a sharp turn. Smugglers frustrated with losing money in failed crossings also lead authorities on chases, either to avoid capture or slip away long enough to exit the vehicle so they can blend in with their customers and thus avoid a human trafficking prosecution. “They are willing to drive 90 mph down the highway and hope the Border Patrol drops away,” said Raymond Cobos, undersheriff for Luna County, N.M., which is part of that state’s busiest immigrant smuggling corridor. (August 9, 2006 Yuma, Arizona).

Arizona Rollover Analyzed

This tragic rollover was most likely not caused by any SUV rollover design problem, roof crush or tire detreading. Instead this SUV was severely overloaded and was driving at a high rate of speed when it went sideways and rolled over. The driver, not the vehicle is at fault in this SUV rollover. Hopefully the criminal courts will investigate the facts and punish him for his actions.

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