Teen gets nearly 17 years in South Texas wreck

April 25, 2014 12:28:39 PM PDT
A Mexican teenager has been sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison over a South Texas wreck that killed five immigrants who were in the U.S. illegally.

A federal judge in Corpus Christi on Friday sentenced 19-year-old Manuel Rendon-Lucas to 200 months in prison. Rendon-Lucas in March pleaded guilty to conspiracy to transport illegal immigrants causing serious bodily injury.

Rendon-Lucas was also ordered to pay more than $2.65 in restitution.

Prosecutors say Rendon-Lucas was fleeing law officers last November in Brooks County when the SUV he was driving hit a construction barrier and smashed into a tree. Five passengers died. Ten others in the vehicle, including Rendon-Lucas, were injured. Some remain paralyzed.

Investigators believe Rendon-Lucas was smuggling the immigrants from a McAllen home to Houston.