Illegal Immigrant That Caused Colorado Crash Was Deported 16 Times

The man who allegedly killed one person and injured another last week in a semi-truck crash on a Colorado highway is an illegal immigrant with a lengthy record of deportation, according to officials.

A 47-year-old Mexican man named Ignacio Cruz-Mendoza is facing charges stemming from the collision that occurred on June 11, including reckless driving and various counts relating to homicide.

According to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP), Mendoza lost control of his semi near Conifer on Hwy 285, which caused it to swerve off the road and overturn onto its side. He was transporting a cargo of steel pipe.

The semi-truck emptied its cargo of pipe and angle iron onto five other cars. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office reported one fatality and one significant injury. Mendoza remained unscathed.

Authorities spent almost 12 hours clearing the route of debris after the accident, which halted the highway in both directions.

After being detained, Cruz-Mendoza was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail. 

Cruz-Mendoza has been deported to Mexico many times, dating back over twenty years, according to an ICE official. Cruz-Mendoza was initially brought to the attention of ICE in April 2002, according to the ICE spokeswoman, following his arrest in Jefferson County, Oregon, on local crimes.

On May 29, 2002, Cruz-Mendoza was ordered to be transferred to Mexico by an immigration judge. His removal from the United States or voluntary return to Mexico has occurred sixteen times since then, according to ICE.

According to online court records, Cruz-Mendoza is still in detention. His next court appearance is on July 30.

In a Tuesday court appearance, victim Scott Miller’s wife and daughter pleaded with the judge to keep Cruz-Mendoza’s bond unchanged. The judge ordered that a surety or cash bond of $50,000 be maintained.

When Deann Miller and Scott Miller’s daughter Michelle Tusa learned that Monique Trucking had a record of breaches, they felt forced to talk to media outside the courthouse.

It was discovered in 2022 that drivers were without the necessary operator licenses throughout October and November. Cruz-Mendoza was taken into custody by investigators for driving a large truck without a commercial driver’s license.