Update 7:29-a.m.: 2 injured in Cass County crash Sunday were illegal immigrants


January 23rd, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol has released additional details about an accident that occurred Sunday morning on Interstate 80, in Cass County. Officials said this (Monday) morning, that at around 8:40-a.m., Trooper R. Boyd Burn responded to a report of a van rollover on I-80 near exit 60 (Hwy 71). Witnesses said after the vehicle came to rest, 8 persons fled the scene on foot, while two people who suffered serious injuries, one of them was determined to have suffered critical injuries, including a head trauma and paralysis. Both were transported to Mercy Hospital in Des Moines.

Following a search of the area, six of the eight persons in the van were located and transported to the Cass County Memorial Hospital in Atlantic, for treatment of their injuries. Two other persons were able to acquire taxi service, and were taken to Council Bluffs. The Patrol says agents with ICE (The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency), were contacted. The agents interviewed the  subjects at CCMH and determined they were illegal immigrants en-route to New Jersey.

The persons who went to Council Bluffs were allegedly transporting the eight individuals to New Jersey to secure employment. All six subjects were turned over to ICE agents and transported to Omaha, NE. ICE agents were able to get a ping on the cell phones used by the two persons who went to Council Bluffs, but those individuals remain at large. An investigation into the incident continues.

The State Patrol was assisted in its investigation by deputies with the Cass and Audubon County Sheriff’s Office, Atlantic Fire and Rescue, and ICE agents.