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Suspect in drunk driving crash that killed NFL player: 'I wasn't driving the car.'

Posted at 8:18 AM, Feb 06, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS -- Manuel Orrego-Savala, the man suspected of driving drunk in a crash that killed an Indianapolis Colts player and his Uber driver, got into the country illegally three times despite multiple convictions during his time in the United States, including a previous DUI conviction in California.

Orrega-Savala, 37, is accused of crashing into a car parked on the side of westbound I-70 early Sunday morning, killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, 26, and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54.

According to Nicole Alberico, an ICE spokesperson, Orrego-Savala first entered the United States illegally around July 1, 2004.

In 2005, Orrego-Savala was convicted for driving under the influence in Redwood City, California.

He was arrested by ICE officers in 2006 in San Francisco for "being an alien present without permission or parole," Alberico said. In early 2007, he was deported back to Guatemala. 

Alberico said deportations are a case-by-case basis, that can take years or days to play out.

In March 2009, deportation officers again arrested him in San Francisco, and he was removed, again, to Guatemala. 

Aside from the DUI conviction in 2005, Orrego-Savala also has "many other misdemeanor criminal convictions and arrests in California and Indiana," Alberico said.

It is unknown exactly how Orrego-Savala made it into the United States illegally in each of the three occasions. A person who re-enters the United States after having been previously deported can be imprisoned by up to 20 years in federal prison, if convicted, according to an ICE official.

An ICE detainer is currently placed on Orrego-Savala while he remains in Marion County Jail. ICE may assume custody of him for removal purposes once his proceedings have taken place in Indiana.

Police say Jackson was the passenger in an Uber when he got sick at around 4 a.m. Monroe pulled over in the westbound lanes of I-70 near Holt Road to help him. Both men were outside the car when a black Ford F-150 drove into the shoulder and struck the vehicle. Jackson and Monroe were pronounced dead at the scene. 

Orrega-Savala, the suspected driver of the F-150, first fled the scene on foot, police say. Troopers located him on the ramp to Holt Road and stopped him, at which point he reportedly admitted he was the driver of the truck. A portable breath test administered at the scene determined Orrego-Savala’s BAC to be 0.239 percent – three times the legal limit.

At a court hearing Tuesday morning, Orrega-Savala, through a court interpreter, said, "I wasn't driving the car. I don't know why I am here."

The judge responded by saying it would be sorted out in court. 

Orrega-Savala is listed in the court as Alex Cabrera. The attorney with the prosecutor's office said that's the name he gave the jail initially, despite ISP later clarifying with his given name. 

In a preliminary probable cause affidavit filed Sunday, police said the man originally presented a Mexican Consulate Identification Card listing his name as Alex Cabrera-Gonsales.

Orrega-Savala's initial hearing is now scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. Prosecutors have until Wednesday to make a final decision on charges. 

In November 2017, a judge in the Southern District of Indiana approved a deal between the Marion County Sheriff’s Department and the ACLU, preventing the sheriff's office from detaining somebody solely because of ICE, unless there is a warrant for the person.

Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted about Edwin Jackson's death, calling it "disgraceful" and a "preventable" tragedy.

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