Driver Sentenced to 60 Years in Prison for Fatal DUI Crash That Killed 8 Migrants


A Texas jury has delivered a 60-year prison sentence to George Alvarez, the driver who caused a fatal car crash that killed eight migrants outside a homeless shelter in Brownsville, Texas, in May 2023. Alvarez, who had pleaded guilty to eight counts of intoxication manslaughter, was sentenced after a brief deliberation process that concluded on Friday.

The tragic accident occurred during a migrant crisis in Brownsville, where thousands of individuals were crossing into the border city daily. The migrants who lost their lives had been sleeping at the Ozanam homeless shelter on Minnesota Avenue after being released by the Border Patrol to pursue asylum claims. Alvarez, who was driving under the influence, lost control of his vehicle after running a red light and struck a group of 18 mostly Venezuelan migrants standing at a bus stop.

Witness testimony was presented earlier in the week, and the jury reached a verdict after less than four hours of deliberation. Alvarez, who has a lengthy criminal history, was sentenced to 20 years for the eight counts of intoxication manslaughter and 15 years for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Defense attorneys had asked for leniency, citing Alvarez’s desire to be a good father and his difficult childhood. However, prosecutors countered that the victims’ families would never be whole again and that Alvarez’s reckless decision to drive intoxicated had caused irreparable harm. The accident remains the most serious intoxication-related incident in the city’s history.

In a statement, Cameron County District Attorney commended the jury for their verdict, saying, “On behalf of the citizens of Cameron County, the Brownsville Police Department, and the surviving victims and relatives of the deceased, I want to sincerely thank the members of the jury for doing the right thing.”

Randy Clark
Randy Clark
Author and Border Patrol Retiree.

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