08 May 2023

Driver in fatal Texas bus stop crash charged with manslaughter

08 May 2023

The driver of an SUV that crashed into a crowd of people at a bus stop in Texas, killing eight, has been charged with manslaughter, police said.

Authorities believe driver George Alvarez, 34, of Brownsville, lost control after jumping a red light on Sunday morning and ploughed into a crowd of Venezuelans outside a migrant centre in the city. Authorities were still investigating whether the crash was intentional.

Police Chief Felix Sauceda said Alvarez was charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The SUV jumped a red light, lost control, flipped on its side and struck 18 people, Mr Sauceda said at a news conference on Monday morning.

Six people died on the scene and 12 people were critically injured, he said.

Officials have said the death toll later rose to eight.

Alvarez tried to flee but was held down by several people at the scene, he said.

Victims struck by the vehicle were waiting for the bus to return to Brownsville city centre after spending the night at the overnight shelter, said Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.

Most of the victims were Venezuelan men, shelter director Victor Maldonado said.

Brownsville has seen a surge of Venezuelan migrants over the last two weeks for reasons that are unclear, authorities said.

On Thursday, 4,000 of about 6,000 migrants in Border Patrol custody in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas were Venezuelan.

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