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An Indianapolis Colt linebacker and his Uber driver were killed on Sunday when they were struck by an alleged drunk driver. According to police, the linebacker had become ill so the Uber driver pulled onto the shoulder of the road. Both men were standing outside the vehicle when they were struck by a Ford F150, throwing one of the men into the center lane of the highway.

Police said the driver of the Ford had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit. He has been identified as an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who had been deported twice. He has been charged with two counts of failure to remain at the scene of an accident and two counts for driving under the influence causing death.

According to reports, the linebacker was returning home from a night on the town. Rather than getting behind the wheel, he did the right thing and called for an Uber driver.

Two days after the crash, it was the drunk driver’s immigration status that moved President Trump to turn the death of two innocent people into a political issue.

“So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson,” Trump tweeted. “This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!”

An Indianapolis Congressman said in a statement:  “We must… Guarantee this never happens again by building a wall, ending sanctuary cities, and stopping illegal immigration once and for all.”

A friend of the linebacker replied by saying: “Absolutely not. He would not want that.” “I don’t think [he] would have judged anyone on where they were from or anything else.”

Drunk driving is the problem here, not our country’s immigration policies. The offending drunk driver’s immigration status in this case is incidental. A drunk in any similar situation is multiple times more likely to be an American citizen.

We should be focused on the tragic loss of two innocent people and how we prevent such tragedies from happening again, not on the immigration status of the offender. How can we better discourage such reckless behavior? Instead of focusing on the core problem of impaired driving, many throughout this country and its leadership have used this tragedy to push their political opinions. It is a shame that anyone would politicize such an incident or have any other intention than to call attention to the extreme dangers of drunk driving.

 

Mark M. Bello is an attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series. He is also the CEO of Lawsuit Financial and the country’s leading expert in providing non-recourse lawsuit funding to plaintiffs involved in pending litigation, a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.

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