POSTED: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 4:54pm
UPDATED: Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 5:08pm
PALMVIEW — It's a much different sight today than last night. People are already starting to build a memorial --the bodies have been replaced by flowers and candles.
This is the second accident of its kind in the upper Valley to have happened within the last three days.
Nine people are dead, six were taken to loca hospitals after a rollover near the frontage of expressway 83 and Minnesota Street in Palmview.
"All its occupants were ejected from the van and were scattered all over the street," said Palmview Police Department Commander, Lenny Sanchez.
This woman who witnessed the accident chose not to go on camera, and she says it was tragic.
In Spanish: "It was horrible to see all the injured people, especially those who are dead."
Police are still in the preliminary investigation, but say there were approximately 19 undocumented people in the mini-van. Commander Sanchez says three of the individuals were reported fleeing the scene.
"We're trying to piece together, along with Border Patrol and the witnesses that actually saw the actual incident," said Sanchez.
Currently, four of the six people transported to the hospital have been released to Border Patrol...and one that fled the accident has turned himself in.
"He was seeking refuge and help and he had asked neighboring homes that were in the area to contact the police department because he was injured. And so, therefore he was transported to local hospitals and now he's been released to Border Patrol," said Sanchez.
Commander Sanchez says they're in the process of trying to identify the driver.
"Right now it's unknown if the driver is with the diseased, the ones in the hospital, or the ones that Border Patrol has is custody," said Sanchez.
We'll keep you updated as the story unfolds.