Federal prosecutors in South Texas have charged a man who they say was smuggling undocumented immigrants when the vehicle he was driving struck a tree, killing five of them.

An affidavit says Manuel Rendon-Lucas told federal agents he was paid $250 for each person he was attempting to drive Saturday from a McAllen home to Houston.

The SUV driven by Rendon was packed with 14 others when Falfurrias police began pursuing it.

Rendon was fleeing at a high speed when the vehicle left the road and struck the tree.