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2 killed, 1 injured in crash after illegal border crossing, authorities say

OTAY MESA, Calif. -- A man who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and his getaway driver were killed Tuesday evening in a crash in Otay Mesa following a brief pursuit by U.S. Border Patrol agents, authorities said.

Just before 5 p.m., a man and woman were seen illegally walking across the border near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, according to U.S. Border Patrol. The two people then got into a white Volvo, described by authorities as a getaway car. When agents tried to pull the car over, the driver refused to stop, leading them on a brief pursuit.

The car, which reportedly reached speeds of about 100 miles per hour at one point, had been chased for less than a mile when it ran a red light and crashed into a semi-truck at the intersection of Otay Mesa Road and Sanyo Avenue. The Volvo went under the big rig's trailer, shearing off the top of the car.

The driver and one passenger, both men, died at the scene. The 20-year-old woman passenger was airlifted to a hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries.

"We don't know what country they're from," said Justin Castrejon with Border Patrol. "The fact that two people did illegally cross the border, illegally, in between the ports of entry, this is now an alien-smuggling event. This is something that border Patrol agents pursue and enforce on a daily basis. And this is just an example of the dangers that alien-smuggling organizations put people in. This is a very tragic event."

The names of the three people in the Volvo were not immediately released. Police said the getaway car was likely stolen in the South Bay area.

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