Tragic Crash Leaves 7 Migrants Dead and 16 Injured in Smuggling Incident

( – Authorities have linked dozens of deaths to human smuggling operations in the United States. It’s a problem that’s all too common, especially given the issues at the Southern Border. But America isn’t the only country that deals with this issue.

On October 13, a federal police officer in Germany noticed a dark Mercedes van traveling toward Munich on the autobahn. The vehicle had Austrian plates and was located about 30 miles from the German-Austrian border, on a well-known smuggling route. The law enforcement officer signaled for the van to pull over, but the driver accelerated to 112 mph instead.

The driver of the van lost control and went off the road. When it left the road, it began flipping and some of the people inside were thrown from the vehicle. Authorities discovered the van, meant to seat just nine, was actually carrying 22 immigrants and the 24-year-old driver. The car accident killed seven and injured 16. At least one child was among the dead.

German officials have said they believe the driver was involved in a smuggling operation. He was arrested and taken to jail. Police have started a homicide investigation.

The New York Times reported that Nancy Faeser, Germany’s interior minister, called the accident a “terrible event” and said that it demonstrates “the cruel and inhumane way in which smugglers put people’s lives at risk.”

Joachim Herrmann, the public safety official in Bavaria, said the car accident showed the need for Germany to “strengthen immediate border controls in order to stop smugglers already at the border.” He went on to call the suspected smuggler’s behavior “inhuman” and said he only cared about saving himself.

Like the US, Germany is struggling with an immigration surge. Smuggling is becoming a major problem in the Bavarian region. In August, there were 138 documented cases of human smuggling. Nearly half of Germans said immigration is one of their biggest concerns in a recent poll.

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