People ‘cried for water’ in trailer
SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Adan Lara Vega said he was told the $5,500 he was being charged to be smuggled into the United States would include an air-conditioned truck ride.
Instead, the 27-year-old Mexican laborer climbed with his friends into a pitch-black, metal tractortrailer compartment that lacked ventilation — a deadly oven that would claim 10 lives.
“After an hour I heard ... people crying and asking for water. I, too, was sweating and people were despairing,” Lara Vega said on Monday from his bed in a San Antonio hospital. “That’s when I lost consciousness.”
By the time he regained it on Sunday, he was in the hospital, where his ID bracelet identified him by the last name Lalravega. Mexican consulate and US officials later said the correct spelling was Lara Vega.
He said it all started when he climbed aboard the tractor-trailer in the border city of Laredo, Texas, with six friends from the state of Aguascalientes after the group waited nearly two weeks in a safe house.
“The guy we were with in the house told us they’d be putting us in a refrigerated compartment, a refrigerated compartment with air. But that didn’t happen,” he said.