The semi-driver involved in the fatal highway collision in Colorado is an undocumented immigrant who has been repeatedly deported from the United States: AICE

According to investigators, the man who is suspected of crashing a semi along a Colorado highway last week, killing one person and wounding another, is an illegal immigrant with a lengthy record of deportation from the country.

Regarding the June 11 collision, Ignacio Cruz-Mendoza, 47, of Mexico, is being charged with reckless driving and homicide.

Mendoza lost control of the semi while transporting a load of steep pipe on Hwy 285 close to Conifer, causing it to deviate off the road and flip onto its side, according to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP).

Five additional vehicles were affected when a load of pipe and angle iron poured out of the semi. According to CSP, one person died and another suffered critical injuries. Mendoza escaped unharmed.

As police attempted to clear the roads, the wreckage obstructed the highway in both directions, forcing it to be closed for more than 12 hours.

After being detained, Cruz-Mendoza was registered at the Jefferson County Jail. According to CSP, he lacks a local address.

Cruz-Mendoza has a lengthy history of deportation to Mexico dating back more than 20 years, an ICE spokeswoman acknowledged. Cruz-Mendoza was initially brought to the attention of ICE in April 2002, according to an ICE spokesperson, when he was taken into custody in Jefferson County, Oregon, on local charges.

On May 29, 2002, an immigration judge issued an order for Cruz-Mendoza’s return to Mexico. According to ICE, he has been taken out of the country sixteen times since then or has willingly returned to Mexico.

Cruz-Mendoza’s arrest has been examined by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Denver, who has also filed a detainer to be informed of Cruz-Mendoza’s potential release with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to online court documents, Cruz-Mendoza is still being held. July 30 is his next scheduled court date.

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