Posted: Mar 21, 2013 4:56 PM by Ben Lloyd - email@example.com
Updated: Mar 21, 2013 6:44 PM
KINGSVILLE - Six people died overnight when a truck packed with 15 suspected illegal immigrants slammed into a security barrier at NAS Kingsville.
Deputies in Kleberg County were chasing the GMC Sierra along Highway 77 when the driver turned onto NAS property. It's believed the driver had no idea he was heading towards the high security facility.
The truck blew through the first checkpoint, almost running over a guard, but by the time the truck made it to the main gate, security personnel had raised barriers designed to prevent vehicles from coming into the facility. The driver swerved around the first barrier, then hit the second at a high speed.
Of the 15 people in the truck, six were pronounced dead on the scene, another nine are being treated for injuries. Some of the injured were taken to hospitals in Corpus Christi for critical care.
NAS Kingsville Commanding Officer Captain Mark McLaughlin said the scene from last night was a lot to take in. "You cannot tell that it's a pickup truck without seeing that there is actually a pickup truck bed on it," said Captain McLaughlin.
Officials say 10 people were crammed inside the extended cab while 5 more were in the bed of the truck under a tarp.
Captain McLaughlin says the loss of human life is tragic and although the barrier is used as a last resort, it was necessary to protect the military base.
Officials have not released the nationalities or names of those involved in the crash. None of the NAS Kingsville personnel or authorities involved in the chase were injured.
The main gate is currently closed to outgoing traffic due to the puncture of water, gas and electrical pipelines at the gate. NAS Kingsville is asking employees and personnel to use the Caesar Street gate.
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