Man Who Discovered Truck Full of Dead Migrants Breaks Down As He Recalls Devastating Scene
Roberto Quintero, 57, found the San Antonio tractor trailer carrying dead migrants on Monday, and is giving a closer look at the horrifying scene he encountered.
As reported by Los Angeles Times, Quintero works for a San Antonio paving company, and first caught wind of the tragedy when a coworker heard someone yelling for help. Quintero quickly ran out, finding a young girl about 12 to 14 years old just outside of the truck, desperate for help.
Quintero recalled, “I didn’t get her name or think to ask where she came from… She just kept hanging on my arms, screaming, ‘Help me, help me.’”
The 57-year-old explained to Noticias Telemundo that the girl was “responsive,” and talked to him as she asked him for help. Quintero gave her water to drink and rapidly called 911.
Meanwhile, the man described how the truck was already open when he arrived. He believes the alleged truck driver, 45-year-old Homero Zamorano Jr., opened the trailer, saw the bodies and fled the scene.
Breaking down in tears, Quintero says that he saw tons of “bodies without life,” immediately knowing they were dead because their skin was purple or extremely pale. The truck emitted a strong smell, and was full of people “from front to back.” Quintero also stated that the bodies were “piled at the edge of door, like they were trying to get out.”
Per the New York Times, the current death toll has risen to 53 out of 64 migrants inside the trailer, with victims from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Forty-eight people were found dead inside the truck, while five more later died in hospitals.
Additionally, Quintero explained that he saw the truck driver run away from the scene, and that others who witness the scene tried to catch him but failed. He went on to describe the driver as the kind of “people who don’t have a heart, who don’t have regard for human life.”
Zamorano has now been arrested by San Antonio police and charged with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death.
Apart from Zamorano being charged, a man named Christian Martinez, 28, has also been charged with conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death. Zamorano and Martinez could face life in prison or even the death penalty. Meanwhile, two other men have also been charged in connection to the tragedy.
On Thursday, Zamorano’s sister spoke with Telemundo and expressed her regret for her brother’s actions.
“It’s very sad, I’m very sorry [to the victim’s families] for having to go through this,” the woman said. “As a family of immigrants, one always hopes that they arrive safely.”
Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org