A 47-year-old man died Sunday from injuries he sustained in a fall from the border fence in Nogales, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.
According to a statement released by the agency on Tuesday, federal agents and City of Nogales first responders attended to the man, a Mexican national, on the evening of June 18. He had suffered “significant” injuries to the right side of his head and right arm and was transported to a hospital for treatment.
“In the following days, the man underwent surgery to drain fluid from his brain but ultimately succumbed to his injuries Sunday,” the statement said.
CBP did not identify the man by name, but a woman who reached out to the NI via social media in search of information about his death and who identified herself as a family member, said the man was trying to return to his family in the United States after being deported.
She said he had lived in Arizona and California since he was 2.
Information provided by the woman, who did not respond to a request to speak on the record via telephone, matched the man to federal court documents showing that last December, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers “encountered” him following a traffic stop in Pinal County and found that he was illegally present in the country. An ICE officer wrote in a statement of probable cause that he had been deported through Nogales two years earlier.
He was at least the fourth person to die from a fall from the Nogales border fence since 2011, when the Border Patrol replaced a 10-foot landing mat fence with a taller barrier that ranges from 18 to 30 feet in height and that since last November, has also been strung with coils of concertina wire.
In February 2012, a 44-year-old man from Oaxaca, Mexico died after falling from the border fence on the west side and suffering head and neck injuries. In March 2014, a 41-year-old man from El Salvador died from head trauma after falling from the fence near the end of Short Street. Then in June 2016, the body of a 32-year-old Mexican woman was found near the barrier on the east side of town.
In addition, the Nogales Fire Department has regularly treated fence-jumpers for broken ankles, legs and hips since the new barrier was built.
In one recent case, a man was hurt last Saturday after falling from the fence near the Mariposa Port of Entry.
“Our guys were dispatched to the fence in regards to a fall injury,” NFD spokeswoman Marcela Hammond said. “When they arrived, they realized they had a male patient with a broken leg, which is a popular injury when you fall from a distance.”
Hammond added that the man, who was approximately 30 years old, fell about 25 feet from the fence.
The patient was then transported to a hospital for further treatment of his injuries, she said.