MESA, AZ - Police say one person was killed when a pickup truck being followed by police crashed into a pole in Mesa early Friday.
Mesa police Det. Steve Berry said they found 17 passengers, some in the cab and others under a tarp in the bed of the truck.
Berry said they are male and female Hispanic adults.
The incident began around 12:30 a.m. when an officer tried to pull the driver over near Power Road and Southern Avenue after he observed the truck swerving.
He said the driver kept going, speeding through Mesa streets and several stop lights, and onto the US 60 as far east as Ironwood Drive.
The vehicle, followed by a Mesa police helicopter, continued back west before missing a turn and crashing into a steel pole at Country Club Drive and Baseline Road.
Berry said the driver was killed and many of the passengers were taken to area hospitals with injuries. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement were called to the scene to help determine whether the people in the truck were undocumented.
Amber Cargil with I.C.E. confirmed a few of the passengers have been turned over to investigators to be questioned.
She said I.C.E. suspects it was a human-smuggling load, but it's still too early to know for sure.
Cargil said the rest of the passengers will be questioned by I.C.E. investigators once they are released from the hospital.
The intersection at Baseline Road and Country Club Drive was closed for several hours, but has been reopened.
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