Trump calls crash that killed NFL player 'disgraceful,' allegedly caused by undocumented immigrant – ABC News


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 this morning that it’s “so disgraceful that a person illegally in our country” led to the NFL player’s death.

PHOTO: Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson during NFL football pre-season game between the Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Aug. 13, 2017. John Mersits/CSM/REX/Shutterstoc
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson during NFL football pre-season game between the Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Aug. 13, 2017.

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.

PHOTO: The 2018 Lincoln driven by Jeffrey Monroe, 54, in Indianapolis on Feb. 4, 2018. Indiana State Police
The 2018 Lincoln driven by Jeffrey Monroe, 54, in Indianapolis on Feb. 4, 2018.
PHOTO: The Ford pick-up truck driven by 37-year-old Alex Cabrera Gonsales. Indianapolis State Police
The Ford pick-up truck driven by 37-year-old Alex Cabrera Gonsales.

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.

PHOTO: Indiana State Police released this mugshot of Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, who is the suspect in a crash that killed two people, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe, in Indianapolis, Feb. 4, 2018.Indiana State Police
Indiana State Police released this mugshot of Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, who is the suspect in a crash that killed two people, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe, in Indianapolis, Feb. 4, 2018.

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.

PHOTO: Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson during an NFL football pre-season game between the Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Aug. 13, 2017. John Mersits/CSM/REX/Shutterstoc
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson during an NFL football pre-season game between the Detroit Lions and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Aug. 13, 2017.

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.

A breath test administered at the scene found Orrego-Savala’s blood alcohol content to be 0.239 percent, ABC affiliate WRTV in Indianapolis reported.

Orrego-Savala was arrested and is being held in the Marion County Jail, police said.

In court this morning, Orrega-Savala said through a court interpreter that he wasn’t driving the car, WRTV reported.

Charges are pending. Orrega-Savala’s initial hearing is set for Wednesday, WRTV reported.

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.”

PHOTO: Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson walks off the field following an NFL game against the Tennessee Titans, Nov. 20, 2016, in Indianapolis. Darron Cummings/file photo/AP Images
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson walks off the field following an NFL game against the Tennessee Titans, Nov. 20, 2016, in Indianapolis.

“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.”

ABC News’ Alisa Wiersema contributed to this report.


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