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Train strikes, kills two US Border Patrol agents in SUV

Associated Press / May 13, 2011

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GILA BEND, Ariz. — Two Border Patrol agents rushing to help capture some suspected illegal immigrants were killed yesterday when their SUV entered a marked railroad crossing and was struck by a train.

The crash happened in a rural farming area near Interstate 8 and the town of Gila Bend, about 85 miles southwest of Phoenix.

The agents, Eduardo Rojas Jr. and Hector Clark, were trying to position themselves on a road north of some other agents who were trying to capture a group of suspected illegal immigrants, said agent Kenneth Quillin, spokesman for the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector.

“We do see groups on a regular basis traveling through this area,’’ he added.

The crash happened at a railroad crossing that is marked but does not have barriers, he said.

The Union Pacific train was going about 62 miles per hour when it hit the SUV, pushing it about a half-mile down the tracks. Before the collision, the train’s engineers saw the SUV on the access road and blew the horn, said Detective Aaron Douglas of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

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