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PHOENIX -- An on-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed and another was injured after the vehicle they were in rolled over on Interstate 10 near Benson Wednesday morning.

A statement from Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske said the agent who died was a five-year veteran. Another agent who was in the vehicle was transported to a hospital in Tucson. His condition was not immediately known. The agency has not released the names of the agents.

The accident happened on eastbound Interstate 10 about eight miles east of Benson at around 7:40 a.m., according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. A spokesman said the rollover was in part due to tire tread separation.

A portion of the highway was closed for several hours during an investigation.

The border agents are based out of the Willcox station. It is not clear what duty they were performing.

The agent died while being transported via helicopter to University Medical Center in Tucson.

``It is difficult expressing our thoughts and appreciation for their commitment and dedication to the mission knowing that whatever words we draw upon simply will not do justice to the sacrifices they made. We ask that the citizens of Arizona and the nation join us in thoughts and prayers for the families of these brave individuals,'' Kerlikowske said.

Associated Press,

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