This weekend, 8 people were found dead in the back of a truck parked in a Walmart parking lot. Two more people died in a hospital later. As details on the situation emerge, horrific stories from survivors of the packed vehicle are now being told.
According to Time, upwards of 90 individuals, many of whom were immigrants, were packed into the un-airconditioned truck which was heading from Laredo to San Antonio, Texas. As the journey began, children and adults begged for water and took turns breathing through a small hole in the truck's side. Passengers attempted to pound on the sides of the wall to get the attention of the driver.
"After an hour I heard... people crying and asking for water. I, too, was sweating and people were despairing. That's when I lost consciousness," survivor Adan Lara Vega told Associated Press from his hospital bed. Vega says that he had previously been deported from the USA three years ago but attempted to enter the country again due to his homeland's depressed economy.
"A person makes decisions without thinking through the consequences," he added, "but, well, thanks to God, here we are."
When the truck arrived at Walmart, police discovered eight dead (two died later at the hospital) and dozens of others suffering from the extreme conditions inside the rig. Mexico's foreign ministry has said that 25 of the migrants in the rig were Mexican.
James Matthew Bradley, the driver of the truck, has been charged with llegally transporting immigrants for financial gain, resulting in death. He potentially faces the death penalty over the charges.
Bradley maintains that he did not know there were people in the back of truck, but he did know the refrigeration system and air ventilation on his truck was non-functioning. He says he stopped at the Walmart to relieve himself. Lara Vega says he never saw the driver and was never offered any water.
"I'm absolutely sorry it happened. I really am. It's shocking. I'm sorry my name was on it," said Brian Pyle, President of Pyle Transportation Inc., the company that owned the truck in question.
The destination of those in the truck remain both disparate and unclear.