The driver of the Iowa-registered 18-wheeler is expected to face federal human-trafficking charges. Officials said as many as 100 people may have been packed into the trailer earlier. Advocates say the tough new policies of the Trump administration are pushing illegal immigrants to attempt increasingly dangerous journeys into the U.S.
A Florida man who was driving an Iowa-registered 18-wheeler is due in court Monday to answer charges after nine Hispanic people died in his rig over the weekend amid searing heat in San Antonio. Twenty others rescued from the trailer were hospitalized, many with life-threatening injuries. The driver, James Mathew Bradley Jr., 60, of Clearwater, Fla., faces federal charges, reports the Associated Press. “We’re looking at a human-trafficking crime,” said San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. John Kelly, U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, said the deaths demonstrate border smugglers “have no regard for human life and seek only profits.” The truck was registered to Pyle Transportation Inc. of Schaller, Iowa.
Authorities were called to a San Antonio Walmart parking lot at about midnight Saturday after someone from the rig approached a store employee and asked for water. Eight people were found dead inside the trailer and another died later. The victims “were very hot to the touch” and had no water, officials said. The temperature reached 101 in the city on Saturday. Advocates told the San Antonio Express-News that the tough new policies of the Trump administration are pushing illegal immigrants to attempt increasingly dangerous journeys into the U.S. Officials said more than 100 people may have been packed into 18-wheeler at one point in its journey.