Sep 24, 2015 2:59 PM by NBC News, Photo: KPRC-TV
Six people were killed and 7 others injured after an SUV flipped during a police chase on a Texas highway on Thursday.
Police in Edna, Texas, attempted to stop a Ford Explorer at around 1:29 a.m. local time Thursday morning for a traffic violation, according to a statement from the Edna Police Department.
The driver of the SUV sped away and led police on a chase on Highway 59 in the city limits of Edna, the statement said.
During the chase, the vehicle rolled over multiple times, throwing several of its 15 passengers from the SUV, police said.
Four of the passengers that were thrown from the SUV were pronounced dead at the scene, police said, and another two later died at local hospitals. An additional seven passengers were still hospitalized.
Two others fled on foot from the scene of the crash, but were apprehended and taken into custody, police said. It was unknown if either of the two was driving the SUV.
Edna police believe human smuggling may have been a factor in the incident because of the number of people inside the flipped car, according to NBC affiliate KPRC.
Officers have identified some of the victims as being from Honduras and Guatemala, according to the police statement.
The rear seat in the Ford Explorer had been folded down and the middle seat removed to apparently create more room in the vehicle, police said.