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George Alvarez: Everything we know about driver in Brownsville, TX crash that killed 8 migrants

Police and the FBI are still investigating whether or not the crash was intentional

Graig Graziosi
Wednesday 10 May 2023 17:31 BST
Related video: Shocking video captures the moment before driver hits victims in Brownsville, Texas crash

Police in Brownsville, Texas, have identified the driver who crashed his SUV into a group of people waiting for a bus outside a migrant centre, killing eight and seriously injuring 10 others.

Since the wreck, police and the FBI have been investigating the cause of the crash, including whether or not the incident was intentional.

Follow all the latest updates here

The government of Venezuela, noting that several of the victims were migrants from the country — has called for a thorough investigation into the driver's motives.

Here's everything we know about the Brownsville driver:

George Alvarez

On Monday, Brownsville Police Chief Felix Sauceda held a press conference during which he revealed the driver had been identified as George Alvarez, 34.

Mr Alvarez allegedly attempted to flee the scene of the incident after he struck the victims and rolled his jeep.

Bystanders reportedly stopped Mr Alvarez and kept him detained until police arrived. He was then taken into police custody and then to an area hospital to be treated for injuries he sustained in the wreck.

Police said Mr Alvarez was being "very uncooperative" with them during their initial investigation.

The driver has since been charged with eight counts of manslaughter and 10 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

George Alvarez is seen in his mugshot after deadly crash outside migrant shelter in Brownsville, Texas (Brownsville Police Department )

Criminal history

Also during the press conference, the police chief noted on Monday that Mr Alvarez has a lengthy criminal history.

His past charges include numerous assault charges, an aggravated assault charge, and additional charges for burglary, theft, DUI, and resisting arrest. He is currently being held on a $3.6m bond, according to CNN.

Crash

Around 8:29am, police began receiving emergency calls describing a violent car accident in which numerous people were hit by a gray Range Rover.

The crash occurred near the Ozanam Centre, a migrant resource facility.

Mr Sauceda said during the press conference on Monday that the SUV ran a red light, lost control, and flipped onto its side. Video footage of the incident appears to show the vehicle hitting the victims before it flips onto its side.

Motive

Mr Sauceda said the vehicle "lost control" before it hit the victims, but noted that law enforcement had not ruled out the possibility that the incident was deliberate.

Police said they were invesitgating claims that the driver was hurling invectives at the migrants prior to the crash, according to the New York Times.

The FBI has joined the investigation and is currently investigating whether or not the crash was intentional. They have not reached any conclusions in that line of inquiry.

On 10 May, police announced that blood screens from the hospital where Mr Alvarez was being treated showed he had drugs in his system at the time of the crash. Cocaine, benzodiazepines and marijuana were all detected, though his level of intoxication is currently unclear.

The director of the migrant shelter, Victor Maldonado, told CBS affiliate KMOV4 that people have reportedly approached the centre's security guards and told them the crash happened because of their facility.

“I’ve had a couple of people come by the gate and tell the security guard that the reason this happened was because of us,” he said.

The shelter has been at or over capacity — 250 — in recent weeks while trying to assist an influx of migrants arriving in the region. Mr Maldonado noted that many of the migrants do not want to stay in Brownsville, but said they are stuck in the area due to a lack of transportation options available through the shelter.

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