Tuesday marks 10th anniversary of smuggling deaths

5/14/2013

VICTORIA, Texas (AP) - Officials and community leaders are this week commemorating 19 individuals who died in what became America's deadliest human smuggling attempt.

Tuesday marks the incident's 10th anniversary. More than 70 people who had entered the country illegally from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic were packed inside a sweltering tractor-trailer in South Texas.

The trailer's driver abandoned his vehicle at a truck stop near Victoria, about 100 miles southwest of Houston. All the deaths were attributed to dehydration, overheating and suffocation.

A ceremony honoring the victims was to be held Saturday at the site of where the trailer was abandoned.

Fourteen people were indicted in the case. The truck driver, Tyrone Williams, received the longest sentence. He received a prison term of nearly 34 years.


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