Man charged with manslaughter after fatal bus stop crash
Seven people have been killed and at least 10 injured after they were struck by a vehicle while waiting at a city bus stop, police in Brownsville, Texas, said on Sunday.
Brownsville police investigator Lieutenant Martin Sandoval said the crash happened at about 8:30am local time on Sunday at a bus stop near the Ozanam Center, a shelter for migrants and the homeless.
Mr Sandoval told Fox News that some migrants were among the dead.
A Brownsville police official told local TV: “The driver was arrested and charged with reckless driving.
The suspect, who police confirmed is a Hispanic man, is under 24-hour guard and receiving medical treatment at a local hospital.
“We are doing an investigation in forms of intoxication to see if he was intoxicated at the time of the accident,” said
“It can be three factors. It could be intoxication; it could be an accident; or it could be intentional. In order for us to find out exactly what happened, we have to eliminate the other two.”
“He’s being very uncooperative at the hospital, but he will be transported to our city jail as soon as he gets released, Then we’ll fingerprint him and [take a] mug shot, and then we can find his true identity.” Mr Sandoval added.
Toxicology results from the blood test could take weeks, he added.
Victor Maldonado, director of the Ozanam Center, said he reviewed the shelter’s surveillance video on Sunday morning after receiving a call about the crash.
The city bus stop is across the street from the shelter and is not marked. There was no bench, and people waiting there were sitting along the curb, Mr Maldonado said. He said most of the victims were Venezuelan men.
“What we see in the video is that this SUV, a Range Rover, just ran the light that was about a hundred feet away and just went through the people who were sitting there in the bus stop,” Mr Maldonado said.
He said the SUV flipped after running up on the curb and continued moving for about 200ft (60m). Some people who were walking on the sidewalk about 30 feet away from the main group were also hit, Maldonado said.
The Ozanam shelter is the only overnight shelter in the city of Brownsville and manages the release of thousands of migrants from federal custody.
“In the last two months, we’ve been getting 250 to 380 a day,” Mr Maldonado said.
The shelter can hold 250, but many who arrive leave the same day. In the last several weeks, an uptick in border crossings prompted the city to declare an emergency as local, state and federal resources coordinated the enforcement and humanitarian response.
While the shelter offers migrants transportation during the week, they are also free to use the city’s public transportation.
“Some of them were on the way to the bus station, because they were on their way to their destination,” the director said.