Texas truck tragedy: Driver pretended to be a survivor when found hiding in a bush, police say

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By stefan armitage

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More details have emerged about the suspects believed to be involved with the abandoned truck discovered in Texas with dozens of dead bodies inside.

On Monday, officials in San Antonio, Texas, found what they described as "stacks of bodies" inside an abandoned 18-wheeler truck at the 9600 block of Quintana Road.

After a member of the public heard "cries for help" coming from inside the vehicle, police were dispatched to the scene, where they found piles of dead bodies "hot to the touch". Those who had survived the journey were unconscious when police arrived, per BBC News.

City officials later revealed that those on board the truck were undocumented migrants who were being trafficked into the United States from Mexico. However, as temperatures reached 103°F (39°C) in San Antonio, those onboard were struck down with "heat stroke and heat exhaustion".

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Credit: Xinhua / Alamy

The tragedy is being called the deadliest migrant-trafficking incident in modern US history, after 53 people died as a result. BBC News reports that 11 people - including children - currently remain in hospital.

Now, a top Mexican immigration official has alleged that the suspected driver of the truck "tried to pass himself off as one of the survivors" after being found by police.

The US Justice Department has revealed that 45-year-old Texas native Homero Zamorano Jr. was arrested after being found by police hiding in a nearby bush. Zamorano has been charged with a criminal complaint with one count of "alien smuggling resulting in death".

Reuters has since reported that Zamorano was allegedly found while under the influence of methamphetamine, according to a US lawmaker citing information from law enforcement.

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Credit: Xinhua / Alamy

Three other arrested have also been made in connection to the incident.

A 28-year-old man by the name of Christian Martinez was also arrested on Tuesday, and later charged with a single count of "conspiracy to transport illegal aliens".

Martinez was linked to Zamorano Jr. after police uncovered communications between the two on the latter's cell phone.

Two other men - who the US Justice Department has named as Mexican nationals Juan Francisco D'Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D'Luna-Mendez - were arrested in connection with the suspected smuggling. They were later charged with being illegal immigrants in possession of firearms.

Police were able to track down the two men after they were spotted leaving a residence linked to the truck's vehicle registration.

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People have created a memorial near the location of the truck. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Of those identified among the dead, Mexico's government has stated that 27 of them were from Mexico, 14 were Hondurans, seven were from Guatemala, and two were from El Salvador.

The US Justice Department reports that all four men face life imprisonment and possibly the death penalty.

Our thoughts continue to go out to all of those affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Xinhua / Alamy

Texas truck tragedy: Driver pretended to be a survivor when found hiding in a bush, police say

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

More details have emerged about the suspects believed to be involved with the abandoned truck discovered in Texas with dozens of dead bodies inside.

On Monday, officials in San Antonio, Texas, found what they described as "stacks of bodies" inside an abandoned 18-wheeler truck at the 9600 block of Quintana Road.

After a member of the public heard "cries for help" coming from inside the vehicle, police were dispatched to the scene, where they found piles of dead bodies "hot to the touch". Those who had survived the journey were unconscious when police arrived, per BBC News.

City officials later revealed that those on board the truck were undocumented migrants who were being trafficked into the United States from Mexico. However, as temperatures reached 103°F (39°C) in San Antonio, those onboard were struck down with "heat stroke and heat exhaustion".

size-large wp-image-1263160073
Credit: Xinhua / Alamy

The tragedy is being called the deadliest migrant-trafficking incident in modern US history, after 53 people died as a result. BBC News reports that 11 people - including children - currently remain in hospital.

Now, a top Mexican immigration official has alleged that the suspected driver of the truck "tried to pass himself off as one of the survivors" after being found by police.

The US Justice Department has revealed that 45-year-old Texas native Homero Zamorano Jr. was arrested after being found by police hiding in a nearby bush. Zamorano has been charged with a criminal complaint with one count of "alien smuggling resulting in death".

Reuters has since reported that Zamorano was allegedly found while under the influence of methamphetamine, according to a US lawmaker citing information from law enforcement.

size-large wp-image-1263160072
Credit: Xinhua / Alamy

Three other arrested have also been made in connection to the incident.

A 28-year-old man by the name of Christian Martinez was also arrested on Tuesday, and later charged with a single count of "conspiracy to transport illegal aliens".

Martinez was linked to Zamorano Jr. after police uncovered communications between the two on the latter's cell phone.

Two other men - who the US Justice Department has named as Mexican nationals Juan Francisco D'Luna-Bilbao and Juan Claudio D'Luna-Mendez - were arrested in connection with the suspected smuggling. They were later charged with being illegal immigrants in possession of firearms.

Police were able to track down the two men after they were spotted leaving a residence linked to the truck's vehicle registration.

size-full wp-image-1263160160
People have created a memorial near the location of the truck. Credit: Sipa US / Alamy

Of those identified among the dead, Mexico's government has stated that 27 of them were from Mexico, 14 were Hondurans, seven were from Guatemala, and two were from El Salvador.

The US Justice Department reports that all four men face life imprisonment and possibly the death penalty.

Our thoughts continue to go out to all of those affected by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Xinhua / Alamy