Man charged in drunken-driving crash that killed NFL player

Prosecutors filed felony charges on Wednesday against an immigrant illegally living in the U.S. who is suspected in a drunken-driving crash that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and an Uber driver in Indiana.

Manuel Orrego-Savala, who is from Guatemala and has twice been deported from the U.S., is charged with causing death while driving intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident. The 37-year-old said little during his initial court hearing, responding through an interpreter as the judge explained the proceedings and charges.

“He’s very distraught to say the least,” said his lawyer, Jorge Torres. “He’s very confused.”

Investigators said Jackson, 26, and his Uber driver, 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe, were standing outside Monroe’s car along Interstate 70 when they were struck early Sunday by a pickup truck driven by Orrego-Savala. He was arrested shortly after the fatal crash.

Court documents allege a blood test conducted at a hospital found him with a blood-alcohol level of 0.19, more than double Indiana’s legal limit for driving. The two most serious charges each carry maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

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. He was charged late Tuesday by federal prosecutors with illegal re-entry of a previously deported alien. He faces up to 10 years in prison on that charge, which the U.S. attorney’s office said would be handled after any state charges are resolved.

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.

Torres said after Wednesday’s court hearing that Orrego-Savala’s immigration status has no bearing on the crash case. The attorney noted his client has been living and doing construction work in the Indianapolis area for several years.

A spokesman for Jackson’s family has said his relatives are devastated and planned no response to 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.

Investigators said they believe Orrego-Savala was intoxicated at the time of the Indiana crash.

Orrego-Savala had a 2005 conviction for driving under the influence in Redwood City, California. He also has numerous other misdemeanour 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 offences and was given a brief jail sentence, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said Tuesday.

Orrego-Savala remains jailed in Indianapolis. Federal and county prosecutors spell his name as “Orrego-Zavala” in charging documents, but his attorney said his name is spelled Orrego-Savala, a spelling listed among his aliases in the federal documents.

He appeared Tuesday before a judge who advised him of his rights. Indianapolis television station WRTV reported that Orrego-Savala told the judge through an interpreter: “I wasn’t driving the car. I don’t know why I am here.”

A police news release did not mention the presence of anyone else in the pickup truck.

 

Just Posted

Blackfalds looking at reducing residential speed limits

Council considering 40 km/h residential speed limit

Despite warnings, plenty of temptations to thieves left in vehicles

Lock It or Lose It campaign still finding plenty of valuables left in plain sight

Official: 3rd pilot helped on next-to-last Lion Air flight

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The chairman of Indonesia’s transportation safety agency confirmed Thursday… Continue reading

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

CALGARY — Chuckwagon drivers and sponsors are hoping for the best as… Continue reading

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Kevin Matechuk says he will never, never forgive the semi driver who… Continue reading

Ken Johnston competes in Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Oil field worker to show off his moves on the dance floor

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Radio show host is Sheraton Celebrity dancer in Red Deer

VINNIE TAYLOR You may have heard Vinnie Taylor on the radio in… Continue reading

Dancing dentist of Innisfail

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Business owner prepares for dance debut

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Dancing helps heal grief

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Dairy Queen owner steps out on the dance floor

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Red Deer nurse turns dancer for Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Most Read