Illegal alien slams rig into four-wheeler, charged with homicide

| 2/13/2007

A man police say was being sought by U.S. immigration authorities has been charged with vehicular manslaughter for allegedly causing a fatal wreck on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

According to police, a distracted Sam P. Thompson - a native of Ghana - slammed the? tractor-trailer he was driving into the back of a Volkswagen Jetta at about 5:52 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, as the Jetta slowed down to turn off the highway. The impact from Thompson's truck pushed the Jetta nearly 250 feet from the crash's initial impact and killed passenger Nuria Ortiz-Miranda, 31, of Washington D.C.

"He wasn't paying attention," Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Anthony DeLuca told Land Line, adding that the truck was traveling between 60 and 70 mph. "He forgot to watch what he was doing."

Thompson was charged with vehicular homicide, said DeLuca, who added that Thompson had been sought by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities. Police said Thompson is an employed driver for a Maryland-based motor carrier.

The passenger killed in the wreck, Ortiz-Miranda, worked for the Honduran embassy in Washington, DC, as a trade and investment promotion counselor, according to the embassy's Web site.

The car's driver, Julio Anibal Marinada Nigro, of Chile, suffered cuts to his face and neck pain related to the crash. Another passenger, Pablo Octavcio Miranda Nigro, of Washington DC, also was injured.

As of press time, ICE officials had not returned Land Line's phone calls regarding the matter.

Thompson lives in Gaithersburg, MD, and had a valid Maryland driver's license.

Maryland legislators are considering a bill to bring the state into compliance with the Federal Real ID Act by requiring proof of legal U.S. residence before state driver's licenses are issued, according to the The Baltimore Sun.

Thompson had more than a dozen traffic violations in Maryland but obtained a commercial driver's license through Kentucky, the Sun reported.

- By Charlie Morasch, staff writer