TikToker who died aged 19 in fiery crash at centre of ‘human smuggling probe' 1 month ago

TikToker who died aged 19 in fiery crash at centre of ‘human smuggling probe'

He had more than 2 million followers on TikTok

Texas police have claimed that teenage TikTok star Gabriel Salazar, who was involved in a recent car crash which killed him and three other passengers, was transporting undocumented migrants.

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The crash - which tool place in the early hours of September 26, killing the 19-year-old Salazar - is now being investigated as a possible human smuggling case.

Salazar had about 2 million followers on his TikTok account when he died in the crash, posting under the handle Gabenotbabe.

Officials have said that Luis Jimenez Mora, 41, Jose Molina-Lara, 23, and Sergio Espinoza-Flores, 36, were also killed. All three were originally from Mexico, with the Zavala County Sheriff's Office posting on Facebook that they were identified as illegal immigrants.

A report stated that the crash took place after a police officer tried to stop Salazar in his car. When the 19-year-old didn't stop, a chase ensued before his vehicle struck trees, rolled over several times and "was fully engulfed in flames."

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On Sunday September 26, 2021 at approximately 1:20am ZCSO deputy overheard a Crystal City Police Department officer...

Posted by Zavala County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, September 27, 2021

In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) said: "On September 26, HSI Eagle Pass, Texas, assisted Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in Zavala County with a vehicular accident which occurred near LaPryor, Texas, that resulted in the death of four individuals.

"The incident is suspected of being a possible human smuggling event. No additional details are being released at this time; as the criminal investigation remains ongoing."

The investigation continues - and it has not yet been revealed what prompted the initial stop.

After his death was announced, tributes poured in for Salazar, whose funeral took place on Wednesday (September 29) in San Antonio, the Independent reports.

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A GoFundMe page has raised more than $38,000 and describes how the teenager "loved his family and was always horsing around with his sister and little brother."

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