TheTrucker.com

Truck driver convicted in Colorado pileup that killed 4

Truck driver convicted in Colorado pileup that killed 4
In this April 26, 2019, file photo, workers clear debris on Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colo., from a pileup involving a semitrailer hauling lumber. The driver of the truck, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 25, was convicted by a Jefferson County jury, on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, in connection with the crash, the Denver Post reported. Aguilera-Mederos was found guilty of six counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, 10 counts of attempted first-degree assault and multiple other charges. He was acquitted of 15 other counts of attempted first-degree assault. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

GOLDEN, Colo. — A truck driver accused of causing a fiery pileup that killed four people and injured six others on a Colorado highway has been convicted of vehicular homicide and other charges.

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera Mederos, 25, was convicted by a Jefferson County jury on Oct. 15 in connection with the April 2019 crash on Interstate 70 west of Denver, The Denver Post reported.

Aguilera Mederos testified that the brakes on his semitrailer failed before he plowed into vehicles that had slowed because of another wreck in the Denver suburb of Lakewood.

10 19 Conviction 2
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera Mederos (AP photo)

Prosecutors argued he could have used one of several runaway ramps as his truck barreled down from the mountains. The chain-reaction wreck ruptured gas tanks, causing flames that consumed several vehicles and melted parts of the highway just after it descends from the mountains west of Denver.

Aguilera Mederos was found guilty of six counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, 10 counts of attempted first-degree assault, six counts of careless driving and one count of reckless driving. Jurors acquitted him of 15 additional counts of attempted first-degree assault.

Sentencing was set for Dec. 13. Aguilera Mederos faces decades in prison.

The truck carrying lumber was going at least 85 mph (137 kph) on a part of Interstate 70 where commercial vehicles are limited to 45 mph (72 kph) because of a steep descent from the Rocky Mountain foothills, according to investigators. The initial impact caused a 28-vehicle chain-reaction wreck that ruptured gas tanks, causing flames that consumed several vehicles and melted parts of the highway just after it descends from the mountains.

Just before the crash, police said the truck traveled past a ramp on the side of the interstate that is designed to safely stop trucks and other vehicles that have lost their brakes.

Aguilera Mederos testified at trial that he tried to hit part of a parked 18-wheeler’s trailer to slow down and sought a space between traffic.

The Associated Press Logo

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. The Trucker Media Group is subscriber of The Associated Press has been granted the license to use this content on TheTrucker.com and The Trucker newspaper in accordance with its Content License Agreement with The Associated Press.

Omnitracs
Avatar for The Associated Press
The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting. Founded in 1846, AP today remains the most trusted source of fast, accurate, unbiased news in all formats and the essential provider of the technology and services vital to the news business. The Trucker Media Group is subscriber of The Associated Press has been granted the license to use this content on TheTrucker.com and The Trucker newspaper in accordance with its Content License Agreement with The Associated Press.
For over 30 years, the objective of The Trucker editorial team has been to produce content focused on truck drivers that is relevant, objective and engaging. After reading this article, feel free to leave a comment about this article or the topics covered in this article for the author or the other readers to enjoy. Let them know what you think! We always enjoy hearing from our readers.

COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Omnitracs