Police say the alleged drunk driver accused in the accident that killed Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson, 26, and an Uber driver early Sunday morning was in the U.S. illegally.
Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, was arrested Sunday after he tried to flee the scene of the accident.
“Orrego-Savala is in the United States illegally and has previously been deported on two occasions, in 2007 and again in 2009,” Sgt. John Perrine said in a statement. “State police investigators are working with U.S. Federal Immigration Officials and they have placed a hold on Orrego-Savala.”
Orrego-Savala, a resident of Guatemala, was driving without a license and initially gave police a fake name of Alex Cabrera Gonsales, according to officials.
Jackson and 54-year-old Uber driver, Jeffrey Monroe, were standing outside the car on the shoulder of the interstate when the suspect, driving a Ford F-150 truck, slammed into them, the IndyStar reported.
“One of the people struck was thrown into the center lane of I-70,” Sgt. John Perrine said in a statement. “Shortly after the crash, and before any 911 calls were received, Trooper Ty Mays was driving through the area and noticed a vehicle in front of him make an evasive maneuver to the left.”
“As he slowed to stop for the crash he struck the body of the victim in the center lane,” Perrine said. It’s not known which of the victims was struck by the officer.
Authorities believe Monroe had pulled the car over and gotten out to help Jackson who had become ill.
The suspect tried to run from the scene but was soon apprehended not far from the accident.
The crash happened just before 4 a.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, according to officials.
Who was Jackson?
Jackson, who was known as “Pound Cake,” joined the Colts practice squad in December 2015 after being cut from the Arizona Cardinals earlier that year. The Colts signed him in January 2016.
He played in 2016 but missed all of 2017 after a preseason injury left him on the injured reserve roster.
Jackson grew up in Atlanta, where he graduated from Westlake High School. He was a three-year team captain for his high school’s football team. He was the sixth of 11 children, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
What did the Colts say?
The club said in a statement posted on its website:
We were heartbroken to hear the news of Edwin Jackson passing. Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization. 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. We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time.
It is with a heavy heart that we share the loss of one of our own.
Edwin Jackson always brought a smile to our locker room and the community. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.
— Indianapolis Colts (@Colts) February 4, 2018
Police are holding Orrego-Savala in the Marion County Jail, while investigators work on potential criminal charges.