August 7, 2021

For nearly an hour, Border Patrol vehicles, aided by CBP and National Guard helicopter surveillance, pursued a jeep that circumvented a checkpoint near Tucson.

A CBP release described how this pursuit ended in a fatal crash on a major interstate highway (original link).

With the assistance of air support, BPAs [Border Patrol agents] located the vehicle on I-10. At approximately 7:57 PM, a BPA attempted to stop the Jeep Liberty by deploying a Vehicle Immobilization Device (VID) on I-10, approximately 39 miles northwest of Tucson near Picacho Peak. The driver of the Jeep Liberty lost control, crossed the median and struck a tractor trailer in the eastbound lanes of travel. As a result of the impact, the vehicle traveled back into the median and caught fire. BPAs immediately requested emergency medical services (EMS), pulled several occupants from the vehicle, and rendered aid. There was a total of eleven occupants in the vehicle, to include two unidentified individuals who were declared deceased on the scene.

A third passenger in the jeep crash died after being transported to a hospital.

“This incident is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and reviewed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Professional Responsibility,” read CBP’s release. “The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General was notified of the incident.”

It was the second Border Patrol pursuit ending in a fatal crash in four days. Two people died in a crash following an August 3, 2021 chase in New Mexico.

— “CBP Statement – Three fatalities in Arizona motor vehicle accident” (Washington: CBP, August 9, 2021)

Sector(s): Tucson

Agency(ies): Border Patrol

Event Type(s): Vehicle Pursuit

Accountability Status: Shared with DHS OIG, Under OPR Investigation

Victim Classification: Single Adult