The SUV ploughed into a group of people waiting for a bus by the side of the road near a shelter for refugees, migrants and the homeless in the US.
Police in the US state of Texas have said at least seven people were killed and 10 injured after a car ploughed into a group of people waiting for a bus near a shelter for refugees, migrants and homeless people.
The incident happened on Sunday in the border town of Brownsville when a silver-grey SUV reportedly ran a red light and mounted the kerb where the group was waiting.
Victor Maldonado, the director of the Ozanam Center, said he reviewed the shelter’s surveillance video after receiving a call about the crash.
“What we see in the video is that this SUV, a Range Rover, just ran the light that was about 100 feet [30 metres] away and just went through the people who were sitting there in the bus stop,” Maldonado said.
Police arrested the driver, and investigators said it was not yet clear whether the act was intentional. The man has been charged with reckless driving and could face additional charges, police said.
“It can be three factors,” Brownsville police investigator Martin Sandoval said. “It could be intoxication; it could be an accident; or it could be intentional. In order for us to find out exactly what happened, we have to eliminate the other two.”
The bus stop is across the street from the shelter and had no bench so some people were sitting along the kerb, Maldonado said.
He said the SUV turned over after hitting the side of the road and continued moving for about 60 metres (200ft). Some people walking on the pavement were also hit, he added.
The driver was taken to hospital for injuries sustained when the car rolled over, Sandoval said.
“He’s being very uncooperative at the hospital, but he will be transported to our city jail as soon as he gets released,” Sandoval said. “Then we’ll fingerprint him and [take a] mug shot, and then we can find his true identity.”
Brownsville has long been an epicentre for migration into the United States and has become a major point of interest ahead of the May 11 end of pandemic-era border restrictions known as Title 42. It lies just across the border from Matamoros, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities.
The Ozanam shelter is the only overnight shelter in Brownsville and manages the release of thousands of refugees and migrants from federal custody.
Maldonado said the centre had not received any threats before the crash, but they did afterwards.
“I’ve had a couple of people come by the gate and tell the security guard that the reason this happened was because of us,” Maldonado said.
The shelter can hold as many as 250 people, but many arrive and leave on the same day.
In the last few weeks, there has been an increase in border crossings.
“In the last two months, we’ve been getting 250 to 380 a day,” Maldonado said.