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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

USA: Police investigate deadly Arizona pileup involving illegal immigrants

PHOENIX - Police were trying to separate out a group of undocumented immigrants from the smugglers who crammed them into a stolen pickup truck shortly before a crash at a busy intersection that caused a deadly 11-car pileup. Six people died and 15 others were seriously injured.
Vehicle-related deaths of undocumented immigrants have been on the rise in Arizona, many of them involving overloaded vehicles used by immigrant smugglers trying to skirt Border Patrol checkpoints. Authorities believe the stolen pickup was headed to Phoenix, the nation's hub for transporting illegal immigrants.

According to Preston, Cochise County Sheriff's deputies first spotted the truck near the Huachuca Mountains, in an area commonly used for loading contraband and illegal immigrants.

They chased the vehicle, but broke off the pursuit before the accident, when the suspect drove away recklessly, sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said. The truck's driver lost control after swerving at a spot where Sierra Vista police had placed tire deflation spikes to slow the truck.


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