The car accident that killed TikTok star Gabriel Salazar is being investigated as a 'possible human smuggling event,' Homeland Security reportedly says

Recent confirmations by authorities have shown that Salazar and Salazar were not documented immigrants. Gabriel Salazar/Instagram
Gabriel Salazar, TikTok's star, was among three other victims in a car accident on September 26.

Since then, authorities have confirmed that three of the passengers were undocumented Mexican immigrants.

Homeland Security is investigating whether the car was involved in a human smuggling incident.

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According to the San Antonio Express News, the Homeland Security Investigations arm of US Department of Homeland Security is investigating the car accident that claimed the lives of TikTok star Gabriel Salazar as well as three other victims.

Salazar, aged 19, was among three other victims in a car accident that occurred in Zavala County on September 26, Texas. According to the Zavala County Sheriff's Office, the vehicle was being investigated by police just before the accident. According to police, their investigation indicates that Salazar was driving the vehicle.

Salazar had over 1.8 million TikTok fans on his @gabenotbabe account. Salazar joined the app in 2019 and posted content like comedy sketches, lip syncs and dance videos.

Chris Vaquez, a frequent collaborator and influencer, launched a GoFundMe to help Salazar after his death. Users flooded his last Instagram and TikTok posts in tributes. According to his sister's Instagram account, his funeral was held on Wednesday, September 29.

Insider previously heard from Erick Estrada, Texas Department of Public Safety's highway police division, that the vehicle Salazar is believed to have been driving on the night of the accident "struck some trees and rolled several times before [...] caught flames." He confirmed that Salazar, along with three others, were declared dead on the spot. Initial identification of the passengers was not possible.

Later, the Zavala County Sheriff's Office posted on Facebook that three of four people who were killed in a car accident had been identified as illegal immigrants from Mexico. According to the outlet, the anonymous source said that he was unable to speak out due to the sensitive nature of the case. He also claimed that Salazar was killed in the same car accident that occurred on Sunday, September 26th.

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Two anonymous law enforcement sources told the Express-News on Friday that the Texas Department of Public Safety had listed the three victims of September's crash as undocumented immigrant. The Express-News was also informed by anonymous sources that separate criminal and traffic investigations have been initiated by the Department of Public Safety.

According to the Express-News, Homeland Security Investigations of Immigration and Customs Enforcement also told the Express-News that they were investigating a quadruple-fatality wreck in Zavala County for human smuggling.

According to the Express-News, a spokesperson for Homeland Security Investigations stated that a criminal investigation is underway into the incident.

Ismael Náveja Macas (the Mexican consul) in Eagle Pass Texas later confirmed to Univision-41 the fact that the three other passengers were originally from Zacatecas, Mexico. Macas said that the accident was "one more example" of the dangers faced by people who cross illegally.

Univison-45 reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety has expressed concern about illegally smuggling immigrants across borders. They were using platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok to lure young people to pick up undocumented Mexican migrants from border areas and drive them to cities like Houston, Texas.

It wasn't clear whether the agency, which didn't immediately respond to a request of comment, suggested that these platforms were involved in the incident.

Chris Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, Rio Grande Sector, told the station that traffickers had reportedly recruited minors via social media and offered them thousands of dollars to transport immigrant immigrants.

Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Department of Public Safety and Salazar's sister didn't immediately respond to our requests for comment.

Insider has the original article.