On January 2, 1985, Agent Salcido was enroute to Del Rio Sector Headquarters and traveling in a seized 1975 Ford sedan. Agent Salcido’s vehicle went out of control on an ice glazed concrete bridge and was struck broadside on the driver’s side by a southbound vehicle in the southbound lane. The other vehicle was a 1984 Suburban enroute to Eagle Pass, Texas. Agent Salcido was killed and the driver of the second vehicle was hospitalized with head and chest injuries. No other persons were involved in the accident.
On the morning of June 14, 1985, Pilot Haynie had been working with ground units 12 miles west of Yuma, Arizona. Having apprehended five aliens at Dunes Siding, Pilot Haynie radioed the ground units that he was flying to another siding. There were no witnesses to the crash which occurred at 7:51 a.m., reported at 8:18 a.m. by a Southern Pacific Railroad engineer.
The Border Patrol plane was upside down under San Diego Power and Light cables in Imperial County, California, 100 yards north of the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks near Dunes Siding, two miles west of Sidewinder Road. Investigation determined that Pilot Haynie had failed to gain altitude to clear the power lines.
Border Patrol Agent Norman Ray Salinas died on Monday, August 4, 1986, at approximately 1:20 a.m. (EST) when the government van he was driving went out of control on Interstate 35, south of Cotulla, Texas. Agent Salinas was transporting Carlos Martinez Alvarenga, an illegal alien from El Salvador, to the Lasalle County Jail in Cotulla from Laredo.
Lasalle County Sheriff Darwin Avant stated that Agent Salinas apparently failed to negotiate a curve. The van left the road running onto a median, rolling over several times before finally bursting into flames. Both Agent Salinas and Martinez Alvarenga were thrown from the van. They were dead before the first officers arrived on the scene.
On February 20, 1987, Agent McCravey was signcutting near Highway 98, east of Calexico, California. McCravey joined a vehicle pursuit which involved an auto suspected of transporting a group of smuggled aliens. The driver of the fleeing vehicle turned south on a dirt road leading back to the All American Canal which serves as a boundary between Mexico and the United States.
The billowing dust cloud made by the fleeing vehicle prevented Agent McCravey from clearly seeing the road. The reduced visibility may have contributed by diminishing his perception and reaction time which affected his ability to react to a change in roadway grade and a turn in the road. Agent McCravey lost control of his vehicle which overturned and rolled into the All American Canal where it became submerged upside down. Fellow officers and farm workers successfully removed Agent McCravey from the vehicle. Agent McCravey died three days later in a San Diego, California hospital.
At about 3:15 p.m., on September 23, 1988, Senior Border Patrol Agent Josiah B. Mahar was involved in an automobile accident on Star Route #27 near Eustis, Maine.
Agent Mahar was driving a Service vehicle and was patrolling in a southbound direction when an oncoming vehicle crossed over the center line and struck his vehicle head-on as he rounded a bend in the road. The impact to Agent Mahar’s vehicle was directed along the drivers door and front fender area. Senior Patrol Agent Mahar died at the scene from massive head injuries sustained in the accident.
On July 14, 1989, Pilot Roberson departed the Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona, at 5:50 a.m., in Service aircraft N29162. Shortly after takeoff, he responded to a request for assistance in the Yuma freight yards where Border Patrol units were conducting freight train check operations.
At 6:10 a.m., Pilot Roberson departed the freight yard area and proceeded south to County 23rd and Avenue 2E to assist ground units in working a trail of three aliens.
Upon arrival, Pilot Roberson commenced “signcutting” while maintaining radio contact with Senior Patrol Agent David Ramirez and Patrol Agent Rosendo Guillen, who were working in the immediate area on the trail. At 6:24 a.m., Pilot Roberson stalled the aircraft and crashed. The aircraft was totally destroyed by the impact and post crash fire. Pilot Roberson died instantly.
On September 6, 1989, at 1:45 a.m., Anti-Smuggling Agent Keith Connelly was shot by alien smugglers in the city of Fresno, California, where he died shortly thereafter. Agent Connelly was working an undercover operation accompanied by his partner, Ted Jordan, who was also shot but survived the ordeal. The Fresno, California Police Department responded to the emergency assistance call and apprehended the suspects who were turned over to the FBI for prosecution.
Keith Connelly joined the U.S. Border Patrol in June 21, 1971, in Chula Vista, California, being assigned to the San Clemente Station. He then transferred to Rouses Point, New York, in September 1975 and worked along the Northern Border until reassigned to San Clemente in May 1978. In 1983, he was transferred to Fresno, California, where he became a Senior Border Patrol Agent in December 1986. In August 1988, he was promoted to Special Agent assigned to the Fresno Anti-Smuggling Unit where he served until his death.
At about 3:50 a.m., on November 27, 1989, Border Patrol Agent John D. Keenan was involved in an automobile accident on U.S. Highway 83 at FM-492 near Mission, Texas.
Agent Keenan was operating a Service vehicle and was driving east on U.S. Highway 83 when a northbound vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed on FM-492 failed to yield the right-of-way causing the accident. Patrol Agent Keenan died at the scene from multiple injuries sustained in the accident.
On June 13, 1992, Pilot Louis Stahl was reportedly tracking a group of illegal aliens near the railroad tracks in a mountainous area near Sunland Park, New Mexico. According to witnesses, the Hughes OH6A helicopter, piloted by Agent Stahl, dropped down and snagged a string of power lines that hung approximately 300 feet above the tracks. The contact with the power lines tilted his aircraft to the right and into another set of utility lines.
The helicopter was then thrown downward where it nose-dived into a nearby canyon, slamming upside down on the desert floor in a valley north of Mount Cristo Rey. In the crash, the cockpit was demolished and Agent Stahl was pinned underneath the wreckage. After seeing the crash, the subjects who were observed by the pilot, reportedly raced a half-mile east to go get help at the American Eagle Brick Company, where workers dialed 911.
The workers then drove to the site and attempted to lift the smashed aircraft off the pilot. Shortly thereafter, fire fighters, police, and Border Patrol Agents arrived at the scene to render aid. The downed pilot was pulled from the wreckage where he was pronounced dead. The pilot’s body was taken to Thomason General Hospital. Agent Stahl was born in Lawton, Oklahoma. He began his career with the Border Patrol in 1973, where he served in Presidio, Texas. He later entered the Pilot Program at Marfa, Texas, in May 1978. He then transferred to El Paso Sector in July 1983, which was his last assignment.
Agent Nava died of injuries sustained in a single car vehicular accident. January 6, 1995, Agent Nava was on his way to conduct a train check. He was traveling on Farm Road 1572, 45 miles east of Del Rio, Texas. His Service vehicle struck a deer causing him to lose control.
The vehicle overturned several times and Agent Nava was thrown from the vehicle. Agent Nava was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:40 a.m. on January 7. Jose Nava was born in Brownsville, Texas. He began his career with the Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas. On April 9, 1989, he transferred to the Del Rio Sector and was assigned to the Brackettville Station.
At approximately 11:45 p.m., Agent Santiago was working in a canyon near Lower Otay Reservoir when he and other agents saw a group of about 20 illegal aliens. The agents identified themselves as Border Patrol and ordered the aliens to stop. The group scattered and the agents followed. Agent Santiago gave chase along the rim of the canyon, taking a narrow trail that leads to the edge of a cliff. He lost his footing on loose rock and slippery grass and fell approximately 120 feet to his death.
On June 6, 1994, Luis Santiago joined the U.S. Border Patrol as a BPA (Trainee) at the San Diego Sector/Brown Field Station in San Diego, California. After entering on duty, he was sent to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. On October 18, 1994, Agent Santiago graduated successfully from the 267th Session and returned to San Diego. Agent Santiago was one week short of taking his ten month examination.
Laredo North Border Patrol Agent Joe R. White passed away early in the morning after suffering an apparent heart attack while on duty at the IH-35 checkpoint. Agent White was transported to Doctors Hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. Agent White was a 7 year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol and a graduate of the 223rd Border Patrol Academy class.
Agent White was a K-9 handler — assigned K-9 Brutus. Prior to Brutus, Agent White was the handler for Benno. Benno was one of the original K-9’s assigned to the Laredo Sector. During his 3 1/2 year tenure as a K-9 handler, Agent White made 155 narcotic seizures worth $8,836,512, seized $126,800 in U.S. currency, and located 1,701 undocumented aliens.
The Border Patrol Museum, the only one in the United States, receives no federal funds and relies on donations to keep our doors open. If you are able, please consider donating to help sustain your museum.
THE BORDER PATROL MUSEUM IS OPEN TUESDAY TO SATURDAY 9:00AM – 5:00PM. EVERYONE IS INVITED TO ENJOY.