(WASHINGTON) — After an undocumented immigrant was accused of causing a car crash on Sunday that killed two people, including an NFL player, President Donald Trump weighed in, raising the incident as another example in his push for immigration reform.
Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning that it’s “so disgraceful that a person illegally in our country” led to the NFL player’s death.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, 26, was in a car driven by Jeffrey Monroe, 54, early Sunday when Jackson became ill, the Indiana State Police said. Monroe had pulled to the side of an interstate and both men were standing outside the car when a truck drove onto the emergency shoulder, hitting both men, police said.
The suspect, who fled on foot and was later apprehended, is a citizen of Guatemala and is allegedly in the United States illegally, police said. Suspect Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, was previously deported in 2007 and 2009, police said.
Trump added, “My prayers and best wishes are with the family of Edwin Jackson, a wonderful young man whose life was so senselessly taken.”
Indiana’s Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly said in a statement, “This man should not have been allowed back into this country after he was deported in 2007. We need to fix our broken immigration system to help prevent this from happening again. That’s why I have voted for and helped the Senate pass bipartisan legislation to increase border security and reform the immigration system.”
Republican Congressman and Indiana Senate hopeful Todd Rokita also linked the crash to immigration, saying in a statement, “We must do more to get these dangerous illegal immigrant criminals off of our streets, and guarantee this never happens again by building a wall, ending sanctuary cities, and stopping illegal immigration once and for all.”
Rokita’s House colleague and Republican primary opponent, Rep. Luke Messer, tweeted his condolences, but has not commented on the suspect’s citizenship status.
The ACLU of Indiana declined to comment on the case.
Police said that Orrego-Savala, who was using the alias Alex Cabrera Gonsales, was believed to be intoxicated and driving without a license at the time of the collision, which threw one of the victims into the center lane of the interstate. That victim was also hit by a state police trooper arriving at the scene, police said. Both Jackson and Monroe died at the scene, police said.
Orrego-Savala was arrested and is being held in the Marion County Jail, police said. Charges are pending.
The state police said its “investigators are working with U.S. Federal Immigration Officials and they have placed a hold on Orrego-Savala.”
Meanwhile, the Colts said in a statement that the team was “heartbroken.”
“Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization,” the Colts said. “We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hard-working mentality. He 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.”
“We also understand that another person lost his life in the accident, only adding to our sorrow on this day,” the statement continued. “We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time.”
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