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TikTok star dies after police chase, was reportedly smuggling illegal immigrants across border

TikTok star Gabriel Salazar died while involved in a police chase after driving illegal immigrants across the Mexican border, officers have said. The 19-year-old died in a crash at around 1.25am on Sunday, September 26 near La Pryor in Texas, US.

Gabriel, who had 1.3 million followers on the social media app, is said to have been driving three undocumented male illegal immigrants into the States from the border with Mexico. The Zavala County Sheriff’s Office says that the three passengers – Jose Luis Jimenez-Mora, 41, Jose Molina-Lara, 23, and Sergio Espinoza-Flores, 36 – also died in the crash [The World News].

Police say a deputy had overheard a call from the Crystal City Police Department after they initiated a stop on a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro that Gabriel was driving. The cop who had stopped the car told deputies that he was in “active pursuit” of the vehicle. Gabriel Salazar was fleeing police north on U.S. 83.

A post made by the Sheriff’s Office on Facebook said their deputy had “assisted with deploying a tire deflation device but was unsuccessful”. Investigators say Gabriel drove off the road, over-corrected and rocketed across the highway into a ditch.
Police say his vehicle hit several trees, rolled over and became engulfed in flames in Zavala County, according to reports. The area is about 90 minutes from the Mexican border.

“[W]e have been notified by Homeland Security Investigations that 3 out of the 4 males that died as a result of the accident were identified as illegal immigrants from Mexico,”…the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. Salazar and three other people died in the crash in Zavala County, Texas. Salazar and three Mexican nationals were pronounced dead at the scene. 

“Yeah, it’s a smuggling situation is what it looks like,” a law enforcement source told the Houston Chronicle. “We’ve had smuggling crashes in Del Rio and by Eagle Pass, Uvalde, but the majority are there in Carrizo and Crystal City, along [U.S.] 83 all the way down to Ashton” [Freedom Bunker].

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: TWNEW.CO.UK

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