Authorities say five people died after the SUV they were traveling in rolled over in southern Arizona as it was being pursued by Border Patrol agents.
Rural/Metro Fire spokesman Willie Treatch told The Associated Press that 22 people were in the SUV when it rolled over Saturday night between Tucson and Benson, Ariz.
Seventeen other people were taken to hospitals for treatment. Their injuries were unknown.
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Treatch said he didn't know the circumstances of the vehicle pursuit by the Border Patrol.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Border Patrol had tried to stop a Chevrolet Tahoe for an immigration check, but the vehicle didn’t stop. Instead, it continued west on Interstate 10 to the exit for Highway 83, went out of control on the exit ramp and flipped over, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the driver of the Tahoe lost control on the exit ramp and rolled the vehicle, resulting in multiple fatalities and injuries,” the agency said in a statement.
The Border Patrol didn't return calls seeking comment on Sunday.
Last month, seven illegal immigrants were killed after a fleeing truck carrying 15 people crashed into a security barrier at a Texas naval base
about 100 miles north of the Mexican border.
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The extended-cab pickup truck reportedly raced past an officer at the main security gate at Naval Air Station Kingsville near Corpus Christi while being pursued by police, prompting guards to alert the air station's secondary gate, which deployed a pop-up barrier.
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