MENDOTA HEIGHTS, MN (The Woodbury Patch) – A man charged with fleeing a state trooper, driving impaired, and crashing into another vehicle after driving the wrong way down Interstate 35E is not a United States citizen and has been deported from the country three different times previously, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Jorge Barrera Garcia, age 36, now faces a fourth deportation.
The Minnesota State Patrol said in the early hours of Oct. 1, Garcia was driving a Kia Sportage southbound in the northbound lanes of I-35E in Mendota Heights when he crashed head-on into a Honda Accord. The collision occurred near the ramp from I-35E onto westbound Interstate 494.
Both Garcia and the 64-year-old driver of the Honda, Randall Paul Carmody, of Woodbury, were transported to Regions Hospital with serious injuries.
Garcia was charged last week with criminal vehicular operation resulting in great bodily harm, fleeing an officer, driving while impaired, and obstructing the legal process, KSTP reported.
“Garcia has previously been removed (deported) from the U.S. on three occasions, once in 2007 and twice in 2008. He was also convicted in federal court in May 2008 for illegally entering the U.S. ICE will seek to gain custody of Garcia if he’s released from local custody, and will reinstate his previous removal order,” Department of Homeland Security public affairs officer Shawn Neudauer told KSTP in a statement.
Carmody was on his way to Savage for new job training when the collision occurred. “Next thing you know, glass is flying and I’m twirling around, and I firmly believe without my seat belt, I’d be dead,” he told KSTP.