INDIANAPOLIS — Prosecutors on Wednesday charged 37-year-oldin a that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver in Indiana. Orrego-Savala, an immigrant illegally living in the U.S., was charged with four felony counts related to the Sunday crash along Interstate 70 in Indianapolis.
The citizen from Guatemala was due in court later Wednesday for an initial hearing on the charges: causing death while driving intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.
Orrego-Savala was deported in 2007 and 2009, and was again living illegally in the U.S. at the time of the crash, according to investigators. A federal immigration charge was filed against him Tuesday.
He was arrested following the crash along Interstate 70. Investigators said Jackson, 26, and his Uber driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, were standing outside Monroe’s car when they were struck and killed by a pickup truck driven by Orrego-Savala.
He was charged in Tuesday’s federal criminal complaint with illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the immigration charge, which the U.S. attorney’s office said would be handled after any state charges are resolved.
Orrego-Savala appeared Tuesday before a judge who advised him of his rights. In court, he insisted he was not driving the pickup, CBS News’ Dean Reynolds.
“I don’t know why I’m here,” Orrego-Savala said. Police said he was the driver and that he was drunk when the accident happened, with a blood alcohol level three times Indiana’s legal limit. They say he was walking away when they caught him.
President Donald Trump drew added attention to the case on Twitter, calling the highway collision that killed Jackson and Monroe “disgraceful.” The president also prodded Democrats to work with him on illegal immigration and border security.
“This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!” Mr. Trump tweeted Tuesday morning.
A spokesman for Jackson’s family has said his relatives are devastated and planned no response to Mr. Trump’s tweets about the crash and the suspect’s immigration status.
“The family is in shock, as you can imagine. This obviously happened so unexpectedly,” Atlanta attorney Daniel Meachum said.
Orrego-Savala had a 2005 conviction for driving under the influence in Redwood City, California. He also has numerous other misdemeanor convictions and arrests in California and Indiana, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Nicole Alberico.
In the 2005 case, he pleaded no contest to two separate drunken-driving offenses and was given a brief jail sentence, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Tuesday.
Orrego-Savala remains jailed in Indianapolis. Federal prosecutors spell his name as Orrego-Zavala, but the federal criminal compliant lists “Orrego-Savala” as among his aliases.
A police news release did not mention the presence of anyone else in the pickup truck.
Mr. Trump and his allies have seized on the news as a prime example of why they say the country needs tougher immigration laws.
“We can’t put illegal immigrant criminals above the interest and safety of our own citizens,” Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., said.
Jackson’s friend Chad Bouchez said he would not want his death to be politicized.
“I don’t think Edwin would have judged anyone on where they were from or anything else. The guy made a mistake and obviously it cost two people’s lives,” Bouchez said.
“It’s really not an immigration story at all. It’s a drunk driving story. It’s a tragedy. It’s a police investigation story,” said Clare Corado, who leads the Indiana immigration law unit.
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