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10 killed when packed van crashes in South Texas

The van carrying about 30 people crashed into a metal utility pole Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

Ten people were killed and others suffered critical injuries when a van carrying about 30 people crashed in southern Texas on Wednesday, officials said.

The single-vehicle crash occurred about 4 p.m. south of Encino, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety said.

It appears the van was traveling too fast on U.S. Route 281 when it tried to take a turn and crashed into a metal utility pole, DPS Sgt. Nathan Brandley said.

"They were traveling at a speed way too fast to try to maneuver that curve and went into the metal utility pole," he said.

Witnesses told officials there was no pursuit before the crash, Brandley said.

Authorities are investigating whether the crash involved undocumented immigrants.

"We’re trying to ID everybody and also go through the Mexican consulate to confirm if they are from out of the country or not," he said.

Brooks County Sheriff Urbino Martinez said the van is designed to hold 15 people.

The driver was among those killed, officials said. Additional details about the victims were not immediately available.

In addition to the 10 killed, 20 passengers were transported to hospitals for treatment, the Department of Public Safety said.

Encino is a small community in southern Texas about 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen.

A March 2 crash near the U.S.-Mexico border in California that killed more than a dozen people also involved an overloaded vehicle.

Thirteen people from Mexico and Guatemala were killed when the sport-utility vehicle with 25 people inside was struck by a gravel truck in Holtville.

The Ford Expedition had been one of two vehicles that went through a hole in a border fence before the crash, officials said.

A legal permanent U.S. resident from Mexico was charged federally with allegedly organizing the smuggling event in that incident, prosecutors have previously said.