Sunday, May 15, 2011

Border Agents Killed by Train During Chase in Arizona

Border Patrol agents Hector Clark and Edward Rojas were chasing a group of suspected illegal immigrants near Gila Bend when they attempted to cross the tracks ahead of a Union Pacific freight train.

By Stephen Ceasar,
Los Angeles Times

The wreckage of a Border Patrol SUV sits on the tracks in front of a freight train. Authorities say the train crew tried to get the driver's attention by blowing its horn.

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents chasing a group of suspected illegal immigrants were killed early Thursday after their SUV was struck by a freight train near Gila Bend, Ariz., about 80 miles north of the Mexico border.

Hector Clark, 39, and Edward Rojas, 34, were assisting other agents in the early-morning chase when they attempted to cross the tracks ahead of the 4,600-ton train, said Robert Lowry, an agency spokesman.

Both agents died at the scene.

The crew aboard the westbound Union Pacific freight train saw the vehicle driving on a frontage road north of the tracks when the unmarked SUV suddenly turned south onto a private crossing immediately in front of the fast-moving train, said Aaron Hunt, a Union Pacific Railroad spokesman.

Clark and Rojas attempted to cross the tracks to "box-in" the group of suspected illegal immigrants, Lowry said.

Typically, trains on that stretch of rail travel upwards of 40 mph and require at least half a mile to come to a complete stop. The train struck the vehicle on the driver's side and pushed it for at least a half-mile.

According to a preliminary investigation, agents spotted a group traveling by foot near Gila Bend late Wednesday, but decided to wait for daybreak to take action, said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in a statement.

Agents, including Clark and Rojas, began pursuing the group about 6 a.m. Thursday.

Sheriff's deputies later arrested what is believed to be the same group of eight suspected illegal immigrants traveling on foot and carrying about 315 pounds of marijuana near the site of the crash, Arpaio said.

Both Clark and Rojas were assigned to the U.S. Border Patrol Yuma sector; they joined the agency in August 2001 and April 2000, respectively. The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and the FBI are investigating the incident.

13 comments:

  1. It's a shame. Two border agents killed from driving stupid. First rule of driving around trains, don't drive in front of them. Apparently they don't teach this at BP school. Ni modo.

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  2. Where did you get the information about them chasing someone?

    I read the actual report. And it states that the two agents were responding to a call about possible individuals entering the U.S.

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  3. They look like a couple of Sicarios.

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  4. I feel bad for the BP, but their is always someone trying to beat the train...and here is the result.

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  5. It is a shame that you take this stance and insult these agents that were performing their duties while you and your family sleep good at night. Regardless of whether you might think they were "stupid", look like "sicarios" or the report "read" something, they had obviously the honor and commitment to provide the safety to all citizens of this country that eventually cost their life unfortunately. Refrain and keep those types of comments to yourself as they don't provide anything of value.

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  6. Something is not right here.....it just doesn't make any sense. Usually when you are in pursuit of someone, you roll down your window to hear whats going on outside and if that was the case, they would have heard the train a mile away.

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  7. THEY HAD A BAD SENSE OF TIMING.....

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  8. Honestly, the IQ level.

    9:21 they "look like sicarios"? And you can't see the colossal stupidity in that statement?

    12:36 they knew the train was there, they tried to beat it. Hello!

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  9. why does the article say they were chasing illegal immigrants??? they were chasing drug runners!!!!!!
    god bless these men and their families, just trying to do their jobs. sick and tired about dems and repubs playing political games with our border and our security.

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  10. Sucks to be them doesn't it! Shit happens!

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  11. Makes me think of Darwin's ideas on species survival.

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  12. Dude, shut the fuck up! So what if anyone equates aliens with drug traffickers? They're both a plague on our society and...they're both criminals. Last time I heard criminals need to be arrested. That's why we have these brave men and women putting their lives in the line. If you don't like it...LEAVE! When some south american gets his wig pushed back by the mexican military you're all cheering, but oh no, if our border patrol even tries to chase or thinks they're chasing illegals, the article can't even give them the benefit of the doubt?

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  13. I was just watching borderwars the other day, and they interviewed edward rojas. Damn, I was watching him on tv, now he's dead. I believe the episode was from 2009 or 2010. RIP both agents.

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