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Guatemalan charged in deadly van crash


Jefferson City, Mo. – A Guatemalan man suspected of driving a van that crashed near Columbia, killing five people, now faces a federal charge.

Prosecutors Wednesday filed a complaint alleging Gelson Mancilla-Santiago is in the U.S. illegally. The complaint says Mancilla-Santiago had been deported last October and re-entered the U.S without permission.

Mancilla-Santiago is in federal custody. Immigration officials said Tuesday they believe he was the driver of the van packed with migrant workers that crashed Sunday on Interstate 70.

Besides the five deaths, the crash also left many of the 20 people in the van seriously injured.

The migrant workers -- many of them Central Americans -- were traveling from Los Angeles to the East Coast. Some said they paid $500 for the trip.

and at least two of the van's passengers, Mejia Chacon and Jorge Ramirez say they don't blame Santiago for the crash or the deaths.

They say Santiago's responsibility was simply to drive. Chacon was sleeping when the van crashed and he woke up in a hospital.