- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - The U.S. Border Patrol is releasing few details about a car crash near Nogales on Sunday that left four injured after a vehicle that was fleeing from agents crashed into a concrete barrier.

The Sunday crash was among several in the past few weeks involving vehicle pursuits by Border Patrol agents.

The incident began when agents tried to pull the vehicle over on Ruby Road near Interstate 19. The driver of the car refused to stop, and agents eventually used a tire deflating device.

Still, the driver kept going, eventually crashing into a concrete barrier at the on-ramp to I-19. The driver was ejected and attempted to run away but was caught. Three of the four passengers were injured.

Tucson Sector spokesman Matthew Eisenhauer said the driver was arrested and is being charged but said the Border Patrol does not release the names of suspects. Eisenhauer said he couldn’t elaborate on why agents attempted to stop the car in the first place because the incident is still under investigation. The passengers in the car were in the country illegally and face deportation, he said.

Authorities are also investigating a crash in Las Cruces on Monday that took place after the Border Patrol tried pulling the car over. In that case, the agents were not in pursuit of the car when it crashed near New Mexico State University.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Sgt. Chad Pierce said border agents from the Deming station tried to stop the car on Interstate 10 near Hachita, New Mexico. The car sped away and agents stopped their pursuit but let State Police know the suspects were fleeing at a high speed.

Pierce said State Police also tried stopping the car but gave up the pursuit as it fled into a busy Las Cruces intersection. The car eventually crashed, and five of the 10 occupants fled, Pierce said. They’ve all been caught.

“If it’s too much of a danger, if it’s going into a city, going into a construction zone, we don’t pursue,” Pierce said.

Pierce said authorities are still investigating who the driver was and what charges they could face.

Last month, two immigrants were killed and three were seriously injured when a car they were being smuggled in collided with a large vehicle hauler near the Arizona-California border. The Border Patrol said an agent tried to pull over the SUV after agents spotted men coming out of the desert and getting into the car. The driver initially pulled over but fled and got on Interstate 8, where it collided with the hauler. Two Mexican men were killed.

The driver, a 30-year-old woman who is an American citizen, was arrested. The Border Patrol has not identified her.


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