An accused illegal immigrant driver is in custody after police say he crashed into a utility pole that later electrocuted a Texas utility worker.
Adrian Juarez Noyola, 25, was charged with a criminal misdemeanor for “Duty Upon Striking Fixture / Landscape > 200,” according to KETK-TV.
The tragedy occurred in the early morning hours of February 17, and it comes as Donald Trump’s approach to undocumented immigrants rises to a fever pitch nationwide.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Noyola Is Accused of Driving Without a License
According to East Texas Matters, police say Noyola “was operating the vehicle at the time of the crash without a driver’s license.”
The news site says that police accuse Noyola of leaving the scene after striking the pole.
2. The Downed Pole Electrocuted a Contractor’s Employee
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports that “An Oncor contractor has died after being electrocuted during an attempt to repair a downed utility pole.”
The newspaper reported that two contracted employees who arrived to fix the pole were shocked by it, but only one died from the incident.
The police said in a statement: “Contract employees of Oncor arrived on the scene to handle power lines down and a snapped pole. At 5:20 a.m. two contract employees were injured by an electrical shock from the damaged area. They were both transported to ETMC with serious injuries by EMS, one of them was pronounced dead at the hospital.”
3. Noyola Was Accused of Abandoning His Vehicle Near a School
CBS19 reported that Noyola fled the scene after crashing into the pole, abandoning his vehicle at a nearby school.
4. There Is Now an ICE Detainer on Noyola
Telemundo Amarillo reports that Noyola is sitting in a local jail on $20,000 bail.
However, ICE has placed a detainer on him, the news site reports. The police statement on the situation reads in part, “Tyler Police were notified of the one vehicle crash around 1:30 a.m. where a 2009, Dodge Ram Pick-up struck a utility pole in the eastbound lanes of the 1000 block of ESE Loop 323.”
5. The Incident Occurred the Same Day New Controversy Arose Over Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies
Also on February 17, controversy erupted over an Associated Press report that claimed a draft memo would have mobilized the National Guard to round up undocumented immigrants. President Trump has insisted federal authorities are rounding up those with criminal records.
The White House immediately shot down the AP report, arguing that it was 100% false, and Homeland Security said the report was a draft that was rejected and never seriously considered. ICE raids throughout the country since Trump took office have alarmed immigrant advocacy groups, although ICE insists the raids are targeted to criminals and similar to those done by previous presidents.