INDIANAPOLIS — A man being held in a suspected drunken-driving crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and his Uber driver has been twice deported from the U.S. — a revelation an Indiana congressman said Monday should anger “all Americans.”
Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, remained jailed Monday but has not been charged in Sunday’s deadly crash along Interstate 70 in Indianapolis. State Police said Monday that he’s a citizen of Guatemala who gave officers a fake name when he was arrested following the pre-dawn crash.
Investigators said he was deported in 2007 and 2009, and was again living illegally in the U.S.
Police said Jackson, who grew up in Atlanta, and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, were standing outside Monroe’s car along I-70 after Jackson became ill while Monroe was transporting him for the ride-hailing company.
Both men were struck and killed by a pickup truck driven by Orrego-Savala, police said. Investigators said they believe Orrego-Savala, who lives in Indianapolis, was intoxicated and driving without a license.
A breath test administered at the crash scene found that Orrego-Savala’s blood-alcohol content was 0.239 percent, or nearly three times Indiana’s legal limit of 0.08 percent, according to a probable cause affidavit.
That affidavit, which was filed Sunday under the fake name Manuel Orrego-Savala gave police, also states two vials of blood were drawn from Orrego-Savala by a nurse at a hospital about 90 minutes later and sent for analysis. It said Orrego-Savala has prior run-ins with law enforcement for driving without a valid license and that he was walking away from the crash scene when an Indiana state trooper arrived and detained him.
Republican U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita said Monday in a statement after police released details on Orrego-Savala that “the loss of life at the hands of illegal immigrant criminals should make all Hoosiers sad and ultimately angry.”
He added that the fatal accident highlights the need for building a U.S.-Mexico border wall, “ending sanctuary cities, and stopping illegal immigration once and for all.”
Rokita later tweeted that “this news should make all Americans angry.”
The deaths of Jackson and Monroe come about two months after a California jury acquitted a Mexican man in the fatal July 2015 shooting of a woman on a San Francisco pier — a death that touched off a fierce national immigration debate.
Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, who was found not guilty of murder on Nov. 30 in Kate Steinle’s death, had been deported five times and was wanted for a sixth deportation when she was fatally shot. Garcia Zarate said the shooting was accidental and occurred when picked up a gun wrapped in a T-shirt under a seat on the pier.
During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump pointed to Steinle’s death as a reason to build a wall along the Mexican border and tighten immigration policies. As president, he has threatened to withhold federal funding to cities with sanctuary city policies.
Orrego-Savala remained in the Marion County Jail on Monday as the investigation into Sunday’s crash continues. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office was working with police on “potential criminal charges” in the case, spokeswoman Peg McLeish said.
Jackson, 26, started eight games for the Colts during the 2016 season, finishing third on the team with 61 tackles. He was considered a possible starter at inside linebacker for the 2017 but missed the season after suffering an injury during training camp.
The 6-foot, 234-pound Jackson previously played for the Arizona Cardinals.
The Colts said in a statement Sunday that Jackson “was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization.”