MCARLAN, Texas (KVEO) — A U.S. Border Patrol agent died “accidentally” early Wednesday morning while tracking migrants on an ATV near Mission, Texas, federal authorities said.
U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said border agents at McAllen Station were in an all-terrain vehicle pursuing a group of people suspected of crossing the border illegally when they were involved in an accident around 1 a.m. Wednesday.
Ortiz said his colleagues found the agent unresponsive and launched a life-saving effort and called for emergency medical services (EMS) support.
The agent was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“The loss of an agent while defending our nation’s borders is a great loss to our organization and our country, and our prayers are with his family and colleagues during this difficult time,” Ortiz said.
The agency did not release the identity of the attorney and declined further comment.
The Texas-Mexico border has seen a number of fatal crashes resulting from immigrant-related pursuits in recent years.
In June, four migrants were killed and three others were injured when a Jeep pursued by Border Patrol agents crashed into the back of a tractor trailer on an interstate near the Texas border city of Encinal.
In January, Anthony Salas, a special agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety, died after a traffic accident near Eagle Pass while working with U.S. Border Patrol to transport six people who immigrated illegally into the U.S.
Last year, an Austin man was involved in a fatal car crash near the border city of Del Rio following a police pursuit, killing eight migrants.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.