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Outrage in SC over illegal alien who killed firefighter.

An illegal alien from Mexico was speeding in a van full of people [presumable more illegal aliens], and plowed into two firefighters putting out a brush fire on the median. One was killed, the other seriously maimed.

The immigration status of her passengers was not even checked. In fact, immigration authorities plan to release the perp until her deportation hearing. All she has to do to escape deportation is NOT SHOW UP.

Illegal aliens are killing thousands of American citizens on our roads and nothing is being done.


The woman charged in connection with a weekend crash that killed a Columbia firefighter is living in the United States illegally and was taken into custody at her house Tuesday morning by federal immigration officials.

“She acknowledged that she was not in this country legally,” said S.C. Highway Patrol Col. Kenny Lancaster.

“Federal officers from ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) went to her house before she left for work,” he said.

The woman, Neida Ortega, 34, of Sumter was to be taken to Charlotte for deportation proceedings, Lancaster said.

Police say Ortega caused the Saturday afternoon accident that resulted in the death of Chance Zobel, 23, a Columbia firefighter. At the time, Zobel was helping other firefighters put out a brush fire in the median of Interstate 20, near the Clemson Road exit, northeast of the city.

Troopers charged Ortega with driving without a valid U.S. license and going too fast for conditions. She was held overnight in the Alvin Glenn Detention Center in Richland County and released on bond Sunday.

She did have a license, but it was from Mexico, said Lancaster. “She said she had lived here 10 years.”

It was unclear Tuesday whether any of the other six people in the van were arrested; some of them are related to Ortega. ICE officials, who earlier Tuesday had pledged to give out more information about the case, could not be reached for comment later Tuesday afternoon.

Columbia-Richland Interim Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said that the other firefighter in the incident, Larry Irvin, 30, who was critically injured, is recovering. Two other firefighters were on the scene but were not injured.

“Firefighter Irvinreceived multiple injuries and faces a long rehabilitation process,” Jenkins said.

Zobel’s funeral is today at 1 p.m. at Shandon Baptist Church, at 5250 Forest Drive. Crowds of mourners, including hundreds of firefighters from across the state and beyond, are expected at the church which, with some 3,000 seats, is one of the largest in South Carolina.

Following the funeral, a procession that will include dozens of firetrucks will wend its way along the 20-plus miles to Shady Grove United Methodist Church cemetery in Irmo.

The patrol’s Lancaster said that even though Ortega had been taken into custody and is slated for eventual deportation, nothing will happen quickly.

“Deportation is a lengthy process,” Lancaster said. Those targeted for deportation have a right to due process and can only be deported after hearings, he said.

Ortega probably will be released pending deportation proceedings to return to her Sumter home, and she will be checked on by authorities while the process is under way, Lancaster said.

The traffic charges against Ortega stemming from the firefighter crash will no doubt be resolved before she is ever deported, Lancaster said.