UPDATED: 4 dead on International bridge connecting Reynosa-Pharr

Editor’s Note: Since this story is hitting the blogosphere, I thought it pertinent to include it with the caveat that this is simply an accident and has nothing to do with the cross border program or anything else. Simply peoples stupidity and need to get in a hurry.

One of my biggest complaints about crossing these bridges back into the United States is people cannot stay in line on the bridge. The see or think they see a hole in the line and they go for it without thinking. They crowd the big trucks on the bridges where commercial vehicles share the bridge with 4 wheelers, passing them on the right, getting in the blind spots of the big rigs.

It amazes me that this is only the second in 15 years!

Crash photo Pharr - Reynosa International BridgeAt least four people were killed in a fiery wreck Thursday night on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in South Texas, police said.Pharr police Lt. Lupe Salinas said the accident involved two 18-wheelers and three other vehicles. The accident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on the American side of the 3.2-mile bridge, which spans the U.S.- Mexico border.

Three people died after their pickup truck plunged from the bridge and landed on a road below, Salinas said. Another person died in a collision with one of the tractor-trailers.

Pharr Emergency Management Coordinator Elsa Sanchez said responders were able to put out a fire caused by the wreck. Personnel from Edinburg, McAllen and other nearby cities responded to the scene, she said. She said there appeared to be other injuries, but none were life-threatening.

Police continued to investigate the accident Thursday night, Salinas said. The two tractor-trailers were headed in opposite directions when the wreck occurred, he said.

He said the victims had not been identified. Police did not have their genders, ages or nationalities.

Sanchez said the pickup truck that fell from the bridge had Texas license plates. Both 18-wheelers and a minivan involved in the wreck appeared to have Mexican license plates, she said.

“Right now we’re trying to clean up the debris that we have on the bridge, investigate the accident, reconstruct the accident and recover the bodies,” Salinas said.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Felix Garza said the bridge was closed in both directions and crossers were being diverted. Peak times for the bridge include between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Fred Brouwen, assistant bridge director, said the wreck caused no damage to the structure of the bridge.

The bridge is typically closed from midnight to 6 a.m. Brouwen said he didn’t expect the bridge to reopen until 6 a.m. on Friday.

The bridge, which has one southbound lane and three northbound lanes, is Texas’ fourth-largest commercial vehicle crossing with Mexico, Brouwen said. About 1,700 trucks and 7,000 cars cross the bridge from Mexico to Texas each day. The bridge handles about 6,000 cars and 1,600 trucks heading south each day, he said.

“This is basically the second accident in the 15 years we’ve had the bridge,” Brouwen said.

Pharr is in the Rio Grande Valley, about 225 miles south of San Antonio.
Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge Cam


northbound semi truck pulled an illegal turn around and collided with another northbound truck, investigators believe. After the collision, fire engulfed another vehicle, killing the driver. A pickup truck also plummeted off the bridge to the dry riverbed below, killing three passengers believed to be Mexican nationals.

SOURCE: The Brownsvile Monitor