TUCSON, Arizona (KVOA) — Five, including a young boy, are dead after a Chevy Tahoe packed with 20 people crashed after a Border Patrol chase.
Border Patrol agents from Arizona’s Willcox station tried to stop the vehicle on westbound Interstate 10 near State Route 83 around 11 p.m. Saturday, according to Customs and Border Protection.
Rincon Valley Fire District Assistant Chief Lee Bucklin coordinated the emergency response.
“It was a pretty impressive scene to pull up on,” Bucklin said. “You could see vehicle parts all over. There were people thrown all over the place.”
A young boy was one of the victims who died, according to Bucklin.
“I don’t think you really ever get used to it,” he said. “You learn how to deal with it. You know you have a job to do. You just focus on your job. Fade out everything else.”
Rincon Valley Fire was called again after 2 a.m. A couple victims left the scene with serious injuries and needed medical attention up the road, according to Bucklin.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety closed the freeway so 4 helicopters could land and take patients to the hospital. First responders considered it a mass casualty situation.
“They know what their jobs are,” Bucklin said. “They know which patients are critical and what steps to hit first.”
All 15 of the survivors had to go to the hospital.
The SUV was registered to somebody in Sierra Vista, according to Bucklin.