MAVERICK COUNTY, Texas — There are still many unanswered questions on Monday, two days after a Department of Public Safety Special Agent died in the line of duty.
DPS officials said Special Agent Anthony Salas was killed in a “tragic accident” while working with a Special Operations Team deployed to the border region as part of Operation Lone Star, Governor Greg Abbott’s crackdown on illegal immigration.
Special Agent Salas passed away on Saturday at a San Antonio hospital.
Officials with DPS have not released any more details about how the crash happened, saying because the accident is still under investigation.
On Sunday, DPS posted photos with dozens of law enforcement who gathered to honor Special Agent Salas, when DPS crews brought the fallen hero back to his home of El Paso.
Special Agent Salas served in the United States Marine Corps before joining DPS.
As part of Operation Lone Star, the Special Operations Team patrols rural ranchlands alongside Border Patrol agents in Maverick, Kinney and Val Verde Counties, in an effort to combat the surge of migrants trespassing on private property.
Officials with Customs and Border Protection released a statement about the accident, saying that a Border Patrol Agent was involved in a single-vehicle crash while transporting six migrants Friday night. The statement added that a DPS Trooper was seriously injured in the accident and had passed away.
The six migrants were treated for non-life-threatening injuries and turned over to the Border Patrol, the department said.
A GoFundMe has been created to help Special Agent Salas’ family.
DPS officials said Special Agent Salas leaves behind a wife and three children, two daughters, ages 14 and 11-years-old, and a 7-year-old son.
Gov. Greg Abbott also released a statement following the news of Salas' death:
"I am saddened to hear that DPS Special Agent Anthony Salas was killed in a horrific vehicle accident in the line of duty in Eagle Pass. This tragedy is a somber reminder of the selfless sacrifices our law enforcement make as they work to keep us safe. I ask Texans to join Cecilia and me in praying for Agent Salas' family as they grieve this unimaginable loss."