A Texas sheriff who was among the first people to reach two badly injured US Border Patrol agents said he thinks they were hurt in an accident, not an attack, the AP reports. The injured agents were found Nov. 18 next to Interstate 10 near Van Horn, which is about 30 miles from the border with Mexico. Agent Rogelio Martinez succumbed to traumatic head injuries and broken bones. His partner, who has not been identified, was seriously injured and hospitalized for several days. The agent has no memory of what happened that night. Culberson County Sheriff Oscar Carrillo said he thinks a tractor-trailer may have accidentally sideswiped the pair, the Dallas Morning News reported. I-10 is a heavily traveled route for truck drivers and accidents regularly occur, Carrillo said.
"From the beginning we were radioed to assist in the incident as an injury, not an assault," Carrillo said. "If this was an assault, believe me, as sheriff, I'd be the first one out there emphasizing safety in our community and with our deputies." It's not clear why Martinez and his partner were along the highway and US Customs and Border Protection only said in a statement that they "were responding to activity." A Border Patrol union, the National Border Patrol Council, has said the pair was attacked and struck with a rock or rocks. President Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also have said the two were attacked. Special Agent in Charge Emmerson Buie Jr. in the FBI's El Paso office said last week that investigators were treating the incident as a "potential assault," but they could not rule out other scenarios.
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