Media Contact

Davida Gallegos,

January 10, 2023

LAS CRUCES, N.M. — News articles earlier this week reported that two men were killed and eight others injured in a rollover crash in Santa Teresa on Sunday, Jan. 8, shortly after a Border Patrol agent initiated a vehicle pursuit. 

The pursuit began near the Strauss Road and Pete Domenici Highway intersection, and ended on Pete Domenici Hwy near mile marker 6, according to news reports and the Sunland Park Fire Department. 

“This tragic incident is the horrific but predictable outcome of the Border Patrol’s reckless vehicle pursuits, which put at risk the lives of people seeking asylum in the U.S., as well as all New Mexicans,” said Rebecca Sheff, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico. “It’s imperative that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Professional Responsibility conduct a thorough and transparent investigation of this crash. It’s also long past time CBP releases its revised vehicle pursuit policy, which needs to prioritize best practices and the preservation of life.”  

Border Patrol vehicle pursuits have resulted in dozens of fatalities in the last few years. A 2019 ProPublica study examining more than 500 incidents found that one in three Border Patrol vehicle pursuits ended in a crash. 

Santa Teresa has been the site of multiple previous deadly Border Patrol vehicle pursuits, including an incident in July where two people were killed and nine others injured, and another in August where one person died and seven others were injured.