Three dead in crash after CBP pursuit along I-10 near Picacho Peak
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An investigation is underway after a crash on Interstate-10 that left three people dead.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, on Saturday, August 7, a Jeep Liberty failed to stop for a primary inspection near Three Points. Around 7 p.m., border patrol agents started searching for the vehicle that was traveling eastbound on State Route 86. A CBP Air and Marine Operations helicopter crew also helped in the search. The AMO pilot says the Jeep Liberty was driving erratically before getting on I-19 going north, about 24 miles east of where the chase began. Shortly after getting on I-19, the suspect then merged onto I-10 going westbound.
At 7:57 PM, a BPA attempted to stop the Jeep Liberty by deploying a Vehicle Immobilization Device on I-10 near Picacho Peak. According to a news release, the driver lost control of the vehicle, crossed the median, and struck a tractor-trailer in the eastbound lanes. The impact sent the vehicle back into the median where it caught fire.
Border Patrol agents pulled eleven people from the Jeep Liberty, including two unidentified individuals who were declared dead at the scene.
According to a press release, Life Flight EMS took two more people to Banner University Medical Center Main Campus. One of them, an unidentified male, was later pronounced dead. The six other passengers were also taken to the hospital for treatment, but their condition is unknown.
Both eastbound and westbound lanes of I-10 are closed, and drivers headed west are being routed off the interstate at milepost 219 and back on at 211. Drivers going east are doing the opposite, exiting at 211 and coming back on at 219.
The incident is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and reviewed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility.
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