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13 WTHR Indianapolis | Indianapolis Local News & Weather

Man accused in fatal I-70 crash facing federal immigration charge

An illegal alien accused of killing two people in a drunk driving crash on Interstate 70 last weekend will face federal charges for re-entering the country illegally after he was deported.

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - An illegal alien accused of killing two people in a drunk driving crash on Interstate 70 last weekend will face federal charges for re-entering the country illegally after he was deported.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler announced the charge Tuesday against 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Zavala. He is accused of drunk driving when he crashed into a car on I-70 early Sunday, killing Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe, an Uber driver who got out of the car to assist Jackson, who was feeling sick.

“The defendant in this case allegedly re-entered the country illegally for the second time before he put the public safety of Indianapolis at risk and took the lives of two innocent men early Sunday morning,” said Minkler. “In April, Attorney General Sessions directed all federal prosecutors to prioritize charging aliens that illegally re-enter the country, especially if they are a risk to public safety or there is a criminal history present. Following the rule of law is the foundation of our American democracy, and my office is committed to fulfilling the Attorney General’s directive.”

Orrego-Zavala has twice been deported from the United States. After his removal from the country in 2007, he was prohibited from returning for ten years. He was arrested again in May 2009, at which time he was prohibited from coming to the United States for 20 years.

Indiana State Police and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office are still investigating the fatal crash and determining which charges Orrego-Zavala will face at the local level. Minkler's office says the federal immigration charges "will remain pending until the conclusion of all state matters" in the case.

Orrego-Zavala faces up to 10 years in prison if he's convicted on the federal charge.