Edna, Texas, police say that at least six people are dead and seven others are injured after a chase ended in a crash.
The crash happened along Highway 59 early Thursday around 1:30 a.m.
Police started chasing the suspects in an SUV near Corpus Christi after an alleged traffic violation. The driver refused to stop and led authorities to the Edna area.
The SUV eventually rolled north of the Loop 521 exit, ejecting several occupants and shutting down the entire highway.
Police say the SUV had its back seats folded down and removed so more people could fit inside the vehicle. Investigators suspect the vehicle was being used for human smuggling. The passengers have been identified as Guatemalan and Honduran. Their immigration status is not known.
“It was a horrible crash,” DPS Trooper Ruben San Miguel told KHOU TV. “The condition of the people ejected [shows they were] obviously not wearing safety belts.”