Illegal Immigrant Charged Over Hit-And-Run Crash That Killed Democratic Senator’s Advisor

( – In 2023, Forbes Advisor compiled a report from several sources showing there were nearly 36,000 fatal car crashes in 2020. Almost 1.6 million more resulted in injuries, and another 3.6 million caused property damage. The two main causes of accidents in the US involve drunk driving and speeding. Sometimes, those involved in a collision flee the scene, escalating the incident to a hit-and-run.

On April 6, Senior Advisor to Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) Kurt Englehart was involved in an automobile accident that cost him his life. The other driver in the two-car crash was 18-year-old Elmer Rueda-Linares, a migrant who was reportedly in the country illegally.

Two days after the incident, federal officers placed Rueda-Linares on an “ICE hold” while in custody at the Washoe County Jail. The suspect was initially charged with a hit-and-run, but that charge was reduced to failing to stop at the scene of an accident. He is being held on $100,000 bond. Initial reports about the crash stated that police didn’t believe impairment was a factor. Both the driver and passenger were arrested, although details about the other suspect are sparse.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Rueda-Linares crossed the border “at or near the Rio Grande City, Texas, Port of Entry” in March 2021. The department said he was not inspected by an “immigration official” but was picked up three months later by Customs and Border Protection.

Rueda-Linares was then inspected and released. His current immigration status is unclear, but the ICE hold (immigration detainer) usually means the immigration department will take custody upon his release and possibly deport him.

The suspect appeared in court before Justice of the Peace Scott Pearson on April 18. Cortez Masto spokesperson Lauren Wodarski told the Reno Gazette-Journal that the senator is looking “forward to justice being served” in this case, adding she has full “confidence” in all those involved in the legal process.

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