Colts owner Jim Irsay to pay funeral expenses for linebacker, Uber driver killed in crash

Jeff Monroe (left) and Edwin Jackson (right).

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The owner of the Indianapolis Colts will pay for the funeral expenses of an Uber driver and a Colts player who were killed in a drunk-driving crash Sunday morning.

Jeffrey Monroe, 54, was working as an Uber driver and linebacker Edwin Jackson, 26, was his passenger.

At some point Jackson became sick, so Monroe pulled over on the side of I-70 just west of Holt Road shortly before 4 a.m. They were standing outside of the car when Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, drove a black Ford F-150 onto the emergency shoulder and struck the rear of the car, as well as the victims.

Police say Orrego-Savala was intoxicated and was driving without a license. Court documents show a breath test was administered at the scene, and he tested at 0.239 percent blood-alcohol content (BAC). This is about three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

He tried to flee the scene but was captured shortly after. Police say he is an undocumented immigrant who is in the country illegally and has previously been deported two times.

Jackson is remembered by his fans, friends and teammates as someone willing to go above and beyond to bring happiness to others. He helped a family at Riley Hospital for Children make sure a young  girl with cancer had a great Christmas.

“He brightened up our life at a point when we were so low, so low,” Mia Bradley said of the gesture. “He didn’t even know us. He didn’t have to do that. He could’ve just went on about his day. But he came back to make sure my daughter had a good Christmas.”

James Gibson, a friend of Monroe, said, “I really want people to know that Jeff was one of the kindest people I have ever known. He would drop whatever he was doing to help a friend, a neighbor or family. He was always putting others first. His wife was his world and he loved her with everything.”

Monroe worked for Allison Payment Systems for about 20 years. A longtime co-worker said he will be very missed.

“Jeff was an individual who would do just about anything to help,” said Clint Miller. “If you needed advice or a ride to work, Jeff wouldn’t hesitate to offer his assistance. He was loved by his co-workers and enjoyed his job as a printer operator very much. Uber/Lyft were his part time endeavors.”

Tuesday afternoon, the Colts confirmed team owner and CEO Jim Irsay will pay for Monroe’s funeral costs, as well as Jackson’s. Acts of generosity like this are not uncommon for the Irsay family, but they often choose to remain anonymous.

“Ironically Jeff was a Colts fan. God Bless our Colts because they are hurting just as bad as we are. Also the Monroe family extends deepest sympathies to the Jackson family as we feel their pain,” Monroe’s wife said in a Facebook post.