Driver who killed 8 when he drunkly crashed into bus stop outside a Texas migrant shelter is found guilty

Patty Limon watches her daughters Annaalexis Limon and Monica Limon place a Venezuelan flag, painted by Annaalexis, at a memorial where eight migrants were killed, and several others injured the day before while waiting at a bus stop in Brownsville, Texas. The driver has now been found guilty.   (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A Texas jury on Friday found a driver guilty of intoxication manslaughter over the deaths of eight people who were struck by an SUV that plowed into a crowded bus stop outside a migrant shelter on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The verdict was handed down by a Cameron County jury more than a year after authorities say George Alvarez lost control of the vehicle after running a red light in May 2023. The deadly scene happened in Brownsville, which has long been an epicenter for migration.

Alvarez was found guilty of eight counts of intoxication manslaughter at the end of a weeklong trial, said Edward Sandoval, a Cameron County prosecutor.

The sentencing phase of the trial was scheduled to begin later Friday.

He faces up to 160 years in prison.

A shelter operator said victims struck by the vehicle had been waiting for the bus to return to downtown Brownsville after spending the night at the overnight shelter. Authorities said at the time that Alvarez tried to flee but was held down by several people at the scene.

George Alvarez has now been found guilty in the eight deaths outside the migrant shelter. He faces up to 160 years in prison (AP)
George Alvarez has now been found guilty in the eight deaths outside the migrant shelter. He faces up to 160 years in prison (AP)

The city bus stop is across the street from the shelter and is not marked. There was no bench, and people waiting there were sitting along the curb, Maldonado said. He said most of the victims were Venezuelan men.

“What we see in the video is that this SUV, a Range Rover, just ran the light that was about a 100 feet away and just went through the people who were sitting there in the bus stop,” Shelter director Victor Maldonado said at the time.

He said the SUV flipped after running up on the curb and continued moving for about 200 feet. Some people who were walking on the sidewalk about 30 feet away from the main group were also hit, Maldonado said.

Maldonado said the center had not received any threats before the crash, but they did afterward.

“I’ve had a couple of people come by the gate and tell the security guard that the reason this happened was because of us,” Maldonado said.