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Groton Daily Independent
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 ~ Vol. 25 - No. 025 ~ 30 of 38
Lemire reported from New York. Associated Press writers Julie Bykowicz, Sadie Gurman and Catherine Lucey contributed reporting.
Follow Lemire on Twitter at and Colvin at
Immigrants wept, pleaded for water and pounded on the truck By FRANK BAJAK and NOMAAN MERCHANT, Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The tractor- trailer was pitch-black inside, crammed with maybe 90 immigrants or more, and already hot when it left the Texas border town of Laredo for the 150-mile trip north to San Antonio.
It wasn’t long before the passengers, sweating profusely in the rising oven- like heat, started crying and pleading for water. Children whimpered. People took turns breathing through a single hole in the wall. They pounded on the sides of the truck and yelled to try to get the driver’s attention. Then they began passing out.
By the time police showed up at a Walmart in San Antonio around 12:30 a.m. Sunday and looked in the back of the truck, eight passengers were dead and two more would soon die in an
James Mathew Bradley Jr., left, arrives at the federal
immigrant-smuggling attempt gone courthouse for a hearing, Monday, July 24, 2017, in San
tragically awry. Antonio. Bradley was arrested in connection with the
The details of the journey were deaths of multiple people packed into a broiling tractor- recountedMondaybyasurvivorwho trailer.(APPhoto/EricGay)
spoke to The Associated Press and in
a federal criminal complaint against
the driver, James Matthew Bradley, who could face the death penalty over the 10 lives lost.
“After an hour I heard ... people crying and asking for water. I, too, was sweating and people were de- spairing. That’s when I lost consciousness,” Adan Lara Vega, 27, told the AP from his hospital bed. By the time he came to, he was in the hospital, where his ID bracelet identi ed him by the last name Lalravega. Mexican consulate and U.S. of cials later told AP the correct spelling was Lara Vega.
Bradley, 60, of Clearwater, Florida, appeared in federal court on charges of illegally transporting immi- grants for  nancial gain, resulting in death. He was ordered held for another hearing on Thursday.
He did not enter a plea or say anything about what happened. But in court papers, he told authorities he didn’t realize anyone was inside his 18-wheeler until he parked and got out to relieve himself.
In addition to the dead, nearly 20 others rescued from the rig were hospitalized in dire condition, many suffering from extreme dehydration and heatstroke.
Mexico’s foreign ministry released a statement Monday night that said “according to preliminary informa- tion,” 25 of the migrants inside the rig were Mexican.
Four of those who died and 21 of those hospitalized are Mexican, the statement said. Some of the oth- ers inside the truck were from Guatemala.

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