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Vehicle flips while pursued by border agents in Arizona, killing 2

(Flickr Photo/U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

PHOENIX – At least two people are dead after a vehicle suspected of human smuggling flipped while being pursued by Border Patrol agents in southern Arizona, authorities said Friday.

The vehicle overturned Tuesday evening on State Route 80 north of Douglas after agents deployed a tire deflation device, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release.

The vehicle had five occupants, a U.S. citizen believed to be the driver and four people in the country illegally, the release said.

One of the occupants died at the scene, and the suspected driver died after being taken to a local hospital.

Two of the occupants were airlifted to a Tucson hospital, where they were in critical condition. Another was treated and released to Border Patrol custody.

The incident occurred after Tucson Sector agents stopped one vehicle suspected of human smuggling and observed a second suspicious vehicle.

The second vehicle fled when agents attempted to stop it and lost control after the tire deflation device was used.

The first vehicle was driven by a U.S. citizen and carried four passengers without documentation.

No other details were released.

CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility is reviewing the incident, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is investigating the smuggling cases.

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