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Catholic Charities begins effort to help migrant survivors of semitruck tragedy

The local organization says the first survivor released to their care has not physical injuries, but is mentally traumatized.

SAN ANTONIO — A survivor from the mass casualty event that left 53 migrants dead of heat-related sickness after being found in a semitruck has been released from a local hospital and into the care of Catholic Charities.

The nonprofit organization told KENS 5 the survivor is a Guatemalan man who spoke to his wife on Thursday for the first time in 15 days. He is one of the 13 people who survived and were hospitalized after the Monday event now regarded as the deadliest human-smuggling event in the U.S.

He has been released to the care of Catholic Charities, which says it will provide him with safe shelter, food and other basic needs, according to the local organization. 

Catholic Charities says he has been released from the hospital with "no physical injuries, but is mentally traumatized."

On Wednesday evening, the Department of Justice confirmed four men are arrested and charged in connection with the event, including two Texas men charged with human-smuggling resulting in death. 

The Justice Department has identified those two as Homero Zamorano Jr., 45, and Christian Martinez, 28. 

According to a DOJ press release, Zamorano was detained at the scene, and his clothes matched those that the driver was seen wearing as he drove the truck through a checkpoint. He has been charged with one count of alien smuggling resulting in death. 

Martinez was also arrested and charged with one count of conspiracy to transport illegal aliens resulting in death. 

Both men could face up to life in prison or the death penalty.

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