The man who drove a vehicle into a group of people near a migrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, killing eight and injuring 10 more, has been charged with eight counts of manslaughter. Brownsville Police chief Felix Sauceda said Monday during a news conference that the driver was identified as George Alvarez, a 34-year-old with an extensive rap sheet, including prior charges of assault and driving while intoxicated.
The accident occurred when a group of pedestrians, including several immigrants, were hit by the Land Rover while waiting at a bus stop across the street from the Bishop Enrique San Pedro Ozanam Center, a non-profit homeless shelter helping to house migrants in the border town. The vehicle Alvarez was driving ran a red light, lost control, flipped on its side and hit a total of 18 people. Alvarez then tried to flee the scene before he was detained by bystanders. Police charged the suspect on the manslaughter counts as well as 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, with his bond was set at $3.6 million. A blood sample was also taken from the driver and a toxicology test will be ordered.
Police say they are still investigating the violent crash, which was captured on surveillance video. The footage shows the vehicle driving at a very high rate of speed and hitting a curb about 30 feet from where the migrants were sitting before the driver appears to lose control. There were about 20 to 25 migrants sitting on the curb when police reported receiving reports of the crash, according to the shelter’s director. The migrants were from Venezuela and had arrived at the shelter just days ago.
Editorial credit: ALDECA studio / Shutterstock.com