A popular TikTok user who died during a high-speed chase in Texas is believed to have been smuggling illegal aliens at the time of the accident, authorities say.
Gabriel Salazar, 19, was killed in a fiery crash just after 1 a.m. on September 26 in Zavala County, TX.
Three other men in the car, identified as Mexican nationals illegally present in the U.S., also died in the wreck.
Salazar had a very large social media presence, with more than 2.2 million followers on TikTok and nearly 900,000 on Instagram.
The incident reportedly unfolded when a Crystal City (CCPD) police officer attempted to pull over Salazar’s vehicle for unknown reasons.
“CCPD officer advised he was in an active pursuit with a white Chevy Camaro that was traveling north on Highway 83 towards La Pryor,” the Zavala County Sheriff’s Office (ZCSO) explained in a statement. “ZCSO deputy assisted with deploying a tire deflation device but was unsuccessful.”
“ZCSO deputy stated that he later heard CCPD officer advise that the vehicle had rolled over and that it was fully engulfed in flames. 4 individuals were pronounced dead at the scene.”
The Texas Department of Public Safety has determined the vehicle “drove off the road, over-corrected, and traveled across the roadway, onto the west barrow ditch. The vehicle struck some trees, rolled several times, and the vehicle caught fire,” KXAN reports.
Homeland Security Investigations later notified the ZCSO that three of the occupants who died in the crash were Mexican illegal aliens and that Salazar is believed to have been participating in human smuggling at the time of the chase.
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