GILA BEND, Ariz. — A westbound Union Pacific freight train hit a U.S. Border Patrol SUV here May 12 as two Border Patrol agents, reportedly chasing suspected undocumented immigrants, suddenly entered an unmarked private crossing in their unmarked SUV as the train approached.
Both Border Patrol agents were killed in the collision, which occurred about 80 miles from the Mexican border.
News reports say the train’s crew members saw the SUV driving parallel to the tracks “when the unmarked SUV suddenly turned south into the crossing.” The engineer reportedly blew his horn prior to the crash, trying to get the SUV driver’s attention.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department said the three-locomotive, 75-car UP train, enroute to Yuma, was traveling about 62 mph when it struck the SUV, pushing it about one-mile down the tracks.
News reports say sheriff’s deputies later arrested a group of eight suspected undocumented immigrants traveling on foot near the scene of the accident. They reportedly were carrying 315 pounds of marijuana.