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Neighbors heartbroken over migrants found dead in 18-wheeler in southwest San Antonio

A nearby business owner and homeowner believe the migrants found were seeking the same things they once did: a better life and more opportunities in America.

SAN ANTONIO — The area surrounding Quintana Road where dozens of migrants were found dead in an 18-wheeler, is mostly made up of salvage yards and auto shops. In the midst of the industrial community, one homeowner said she was devastated to learn about the discovery so close to her home.

“Tanta gente muerta es un dolor muy grande para todo la gente que tiene corazón,” said Eva Sanchez. “So many people dead, it’s very painful for all of the people who have hearts.”

Sanchez, who immigrated to this country herself from Mexico, was heartbroken knowing the people who died likely wanted similar opportunities she did. She has now lived in the area for 25 years and runs a soccer field and ballroom. The 18-wheeler was found Tuesday night behind the soccer field she owns, too far away to hear or see much, but close enough to see heavy police presence.

 Tuesday, she was still shocked and emotional.

“Yo vine con sueños.”

“I came with dreams,” Sanchez said. “Todos creamos en un opurtunidad de vida, y pues todo tenemos derecho a ella, y es lo que todos buscamos.”

“We all believe in opportunity and we all have a right to it,” she said. “It’s what we all search for.”

Down the road, in between several salvage yards, one called A-1 Salvage is owned by Tony Bokanian. He rushed to his shop Tuesday night when a neighbor called and said there was heavy police presence nearby.

“I was looking overlooking the fence and I see the 18-wheeler and all the bodies on the ground,” he said. “I couldn’t sleep last night with what I saw, we are humans.”

Bokanian said he came to this country from Iran on a Visa in 1999, seeking a better life.

“That’s what happened to them, I feel sorry for them and for their families.”

Both Bokanian and Sanchez have successful businesses and have established a flourishing life for themselves in San Antonio. Both are now left coping with the loss of more than 50 people who wanted the same things.

“Oremos por todos  los migrantes,” said Sanchez. “We pray for all of the migrants.”

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