Driver who killed Colts linebacker & another man was in country illegally, police say
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(CNN) — Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and another man were struck and killed in a suspected drunken driving accident early Sunday morning.
Indiana State Police say the man they believe hit them is an undocumented immigrant who has been deported twice.
The accident took place around 4 a.m. Sunday. Authorities said Jackson was the passenger for a ride-sharing operator, identified as 54-year-old Jeffrey Monroe of Avon, Indiana. Monroe had pulled his 2018 Lincoln to the side of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis because Jackson had become ill, according to state police, who said both men were standing outside the car.
The car and the men were struck by a Ford F-150. One of the men was thrown into the center lane and was spotted, along with wreckage from the damaged vehicle, by a passing state trooper. As he slowed to stop for the crash, he struck the body in the center lane, officials said.
Police identified the driver of the F-150 as Manuel Orrego-Savala. Police said he gave them an alias at the scene — Alex Cabrera Gonsales — and attempted to flee on foot. He was taken to the Marion County Jail, accused of driving without a license and on suspicion of intoxicated driving.
Detectives said Orrego-Savala is a citizen of Guatemala who is in the United States illegally and was deported twice, in 2007 and 2009. They’re working with US immigration officials, who have placed a hold on Orrego-Savala.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement released a statement late Monday saying Orrego-Savala was previously convicted of driving under the influence in Redwood City, California, in 2005. He has other “misdemeanor criminal convictions and arrests in California and Indiana,” the ICE statement said.
Jackson, 26, was from Atlanta but made a home for himself with the Colts. “Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization,” the team said. “We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hardworking 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.”
Jackson was an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern in 2015. The team’s head football coach, Chad Lunsford, said in a statement that Jackson represented “how a young man should live his life. He earned everything that he was given and left this world way too soon.”