TUCSON, Ariz. -- At least five people were killed and more than a dozen hurt when an SUV crashed while it was being chased by the Border Patrol, authorities said Sunday.
Pima County Rural/Metro Fire Chief Willie Treatch said the midsize SUV was carrying 22 passengers, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection said 18 were aboard.
Treatch said five people died at the scene and 17 were rushed to the hospital, some by helicopter.
The incident happened about 11 p.m. Saturday near the intersection of Interstate 10 and State Highway 83 in Vail, Ariz., officials said.
Federal authorities said the Border Patrol had tried to stop a Chevrolet Tahoe for an immigration check, but the Tahoe didn’t stop. Instead, it continued west on Interstate 10 to the exit for Highway 83, went out of control on the exit ramp and flipped over, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the driver of the Tahoe lost control on the exit ramp and rolled the vehicle, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries,” the agency said in a statement.