President Trump was”ghoulish and inappropriate” as he politicized a drunken driving crash that killed an NFL player and an Uber driver, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and driver Jeffrey Monroe were standing outside the Uber vehicle along Interstate 70 in Indianapolis when they were fatally struck early Sunday. Manuel Orrego-Zavala, who has twice been deported from the U.S., is charged with causing death while driving intoxicated and leaving the scene of an accident.
Trump had previously said it was “disgraceful” that Orrego-Zavala was able to get back into the country, and called for tighter border security.
“We will vigorously prosecute this matter, just like any comparable crime, not because of the immigration status of an accused, but because two innocent men lost their lives in this horrible incident,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said, according to CNN.
Undocumented immigrant denies driving car in fatal Indy crash
“We are disheartened that ghoulish and inappropriate public commentary has politicized this tragedy. Much of such commentary, including tweets by the President, fails to acknowledge that both Edwin Jackson and Jeffrey Monroe lost their lives on Sunday. We will simply seek justice on behalf of the families of those two victims.”
A blood test at the hospital found Orrego-Zavala had a blood alcohol level of 0.19, more than double Indiana’s legal limit.
The suspect remains behind bars in Indianapolis. Prosecutors spell his name as “Orrego-Zavala” in charging documents, but his lawyer said his name is spelled Orrego-Savala.
Orrego-Zavala, who was deported in 2007 and 2009, was charged late Tuesday by federal prosecutors with illegal reentry of a previously deported alien.
Jim Irsay paying for funerals of Edwin Jackson, Jeffrey Monroe
“Two real good people’s lives were taken by a drunken driver,” James Lambert, the brother of Monroe’s wife,told the Indianapolis Star. “No matter if he was illegal or not, he was a drunken driver. It is no longer about the two gentlemen who lost their lives, their family and my family. It is about politicians now. That should never happen on an incident like this.”
A Marion County judge entered a not guilty plea for the 37-year-old Orrego-Zavala on Wednesday. He had previously said he was not driving the car.
Monroe drove for Uber to make some extra money for trips with his wife.
“He liked meeting people,” Lambert told the newspaper. “He liked talking to them. That was up his alley.”
Trump uses Colts linebacker’s death to slam Dems on immigration
The Uber driver was a Colts fan who was trying to help Jackson at the time of the crash.
“He was a very good guy, very loyal,” J.P. Thomas, his employer at Allison Printing Systems, told the Indianapolis Star. “He was a very great employee.”
With News Wire Services