SAN ANTONIO (AP) – A survivor of the deadly trip from near the Mexican border in a sweltering tractor-trailer says he lost consciousness while sweating profusely without water inside the pitch-black, ventilation-less compartment and awoke in a San Antonio hospital bed.
Twenty-seven-year-old Adan Lalravega told The Associated Press on Monday that people cried and pleaded for water and that he heard children’ voices whimper in the desperate humanity.
Lalravega also says he’d been told by smugglers who hid him and six friends in a safe house on the border in Laredo, Texas, that they’d be riding in an air-conditioned space.
Instead, the Mexican laborer from Aguascalientes says that when they boarded the truck on a Laredo street Saturday night it was already full of people. He says he couldn’t see how many because it was so dark.
The trip from Laredo to San Antonio is about two hours and Lalravega says he and his friends got in the trailer between 10 and 11 p.m. He says he never saw the truck driver and was never offered water.
He says they were being charged $5,500 for the trip and the money was never collected.
Two of the people found alive in a tractor-trailer in a Walmart parking lot in San Antonio and taken to hospitals with extreme dehydration and heat stroke have been released.
The broiling 18-wheeler was found packed with immigrants early Sunday. Ten people who were inside the tractor-trailer have died and the driver has been charged in the deaths.
Spokesman Don Finley at University Hospital in San Antonio says two of the seven patients who arrived there Sunday have been discharged. Finley says four men and one woman remain at the hospital, in conditions ranging from good to critical.
At the San Antonio Military Medical Center on the Fort Sam Houston Army post, spokeswoman Elaine Sanchez says all five patients admitted to the hospital Sunday remain in treatment.
Spokeswoman Patti Tanner says none of the patients admitted to various Baptist Health System hospitals in San Antonio have been discharged.
The fiancee of the driver charged in the deaths of 10 immigrants packed into the back of his broiling tractor-trailer says he called her from jail to say he hadn’t known his truck was filled with 90 people.
Darnisha Rose says James Matthew Bradley Jr. told her he was returning to his truck after using the bathroom in the San Antonio Walmart when he noticed the trailer rocking back and forth. She says he opened the door and “saw the people in there, laying everywhere. He said he didn’t know what to do, which way to go.”
Court documents say Bradley didn’t call 911, even though some of the people in the trailer were already dead and others were dire condition.
She said he didn’t explain how they ended up inside his trailer without his knowledge.
Rose defended her fiance as a good man, funny and warm, and that she doesn’t believe he would have knowingly endangered dozens of immigrants.
The man charged with driving a Texas tractor-trailer packed with immigrants in the U.S. illegally will remain in detention after an initial court appearance.
James Matthew Bradley Jr. was handcuffed and wearing blue jail scrubs as U.S. Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Chestney explained he could face the death penalty if convicted. Bradley is charged with transporting immigrants here illegally, resulting in the deaths of 10 people.
He didn’t speak about what happened Sunday.
Chestney scheduled another hearing Thursday.
A federal complaint says Bradley told authorities he was driving the trailer to Brownsville, Texas, and was unaware that it was packed with people until he stopped at a Walmart in San Antonio.
According to the complaint, one of the passengers says people in the trailer were taking turns breathing through a hole inside.
A federal criminal complaint says the driver of a broiling tractor-trailer found packed with immigrants outside a Walmart in San Antonio told investigators that he was unaware that there were people inside until he parked and got out to urinate.
The complaint says James Matthew Bradley Jr. told investigators that the trailer had been sold and he was transporting it from Iowa to Brownsville, Texas. He allegedly said that he opened the door after hearing banging and shaking and was “surprised when he was run over by ‘Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground.”
The complaint says he did not call 911, even though he realized that at least one person was dead.
Bradley was charged Monday in the deaths of 10 of his passengers and could face the death penalty.
This item has been corrected to show that Bradley says in the complaint that he only recognized that one occupant was dead, not several people.
The president of a trucking company says he sold the tractor-trailer that was discovered in a Texas Walmart parking lot with immigrants’ bodies inside.
Brian Pyle told The Associated Press on Monday that Pyle Transportation Inc., of Schaller, Iowa, sold the truck to a man in Mexico in May. He says an independent contractor, James Bradley, was supposed to deliver the vehicle to a pick-up point in Brownsville, Texas, at the weekend. Pyle says he had no idea of any problems with the truck until media started to call Sunday following reports of the deaths in San Antonio.
James Matthew Bradley has been charged with human trafficking.
At least 10 people who were inside the truck have died and more than 15 have been hospitalized with extreme dehydration and heat stroke.
A federal complaint says immigrants packed into a tractor-trailer discovered outside a Texas Walmart were taking turns breathing through a hole in the trailer and pounding on the walls to get the driver’s attention.
According to a complaint filed Monday, a passenger in the trailer told investigators that he and others who had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally were guided into the trailer to be taken north to San Antonio.
The complaint says passengers appeared fine during the first hour of their journey, but people later began to struggle to breathe. They were trying to get the driver’s attention, but to no avail.
Federal prosecutors on Monday charged James Matthew Bradley with illegally transporting the immigrants for commercial or financial gain, resulting in the deaths of 10 people inside.
Federal authorities in Texas have charged the driver of a tractor-trailer with transporting immigrants in the U.S. illegally, an incident resulting in the death of 10 people.
A complaint filed Monday accuses James Matthew Bradley of driving a trailer packed with immigrants for “commercial advantage or private financial gain.” The charge carries the possibility of the death penalty.
Bradley is expected to appear Monday morning in San Antonio.
Many of those rescued from the sweltering truck in San Antonio have been hospitalized with extreme dehydration and heatstroke.
Federal authorities say a 10th person has died after being discovered in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer in Texas.
Prosecutors said in a statement Monday that the person died at a hospital. Nearly 20 others were hospitalized in dire condition after they were found in the truck outside a San Antonio Walmart early Sunday.
Federal prosecutors say a man arrested following the deaths of nine people in a hot tractor-trailer outside a Texas Walmart will be charged Monday.
Prosecutors say 60-year-old James Matthew Bradley Jr., of Clearwater, Florida, was taken into custody at the weekend after the bodies were discovered alongside nearly 20 more people in dire condition in the San Antonio parking lot. He will appear in federal court in San Antonio on Monday.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office haven’t said Bradley was the alleged driver of the truck and prosecutors haven’t outlined the charges he will face.
Many of those hospitalized were suffering from extreme dehydration and heatstroke.
San Antonio Police Chief William McManus calls the deaths a “human-trafficking crime.”
A 60-year-old man who was arrested after authorities say at least nine people died in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer found outside a Walmart in San Antonio is due in federal court.
Federal prosecutors say James Matthew Bradley Jr. of Clearwater, Florida, will be charged on Monday.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Thomas Homan says the truck driver is in custody, but the local U.S. Attorney’s Office wouldn’t say whether Bradley was the alleged driver who was arrested.
Officials say nearly 20 other people rescued from the back of the rig early Sunday were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke.
Foreign officials from Mexico and Guatemala confirmed people from those countries were found in the abandoned tractor-trailer.