A truck driver has been sentenced to decades in prison after he was found guilty on dozens of charges, including vehicular homicide, for a major fatal pileup crash that occurred in Colorado in 2019.
On Monday, December 13, 25 year old Texas resident Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years in prison in a Jefferson County, Colorado, court of law.
The judge presiding over the sentencing said he felt bound to sentence Aguilera-Mederos to consecutive, not concurrent, prison terms based on existing Colorado law.
During the sentencing hearing, numerous relatives came forward to offer victim impact statements.
Nailan Gonzalez, the wife of Aguilera-Mederos, wept while she addressed the court on behalf of her husband.
“It’s hard to live with this trauma. I can’t sleep. I’m thinking all the time about the victims,” Aguilera-Mederos said in English in a lengthy, tearful message moments before sentencing.
“I’m begging for forgiveness … from this torture and pain,” Aguilera-Mederos said.
“I’m not a murderer, I’m not a killer,” Aguilera-Mederos told the judge.
In October 2021, Aguilera-Mederos was found guilty on 27 charges, including four counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, ten counts of attempt to commit assault in the first degree- extreme indifference, two counts of vehicular assault- reckless, one count of reckless driving, and four counts of careless driving causing death.
He was found not guilty on 15 counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree.
Aguilera-Mederos had previously pleaded not guilty to 41 charges, arguing that mechanical failure was to blame for the crash.
The charges were issued as a result of a fatal chain reaction crash that happened in slowed traffic on I-70 near Lakewood, Colorado, on April 25, 2019.
Aguilera-Mederos was hauling a load of lumber when he reportedly hit speeds of 85 m.p.h. in an area where trucks are limited to 45 m.p.h and lost control of his brakes before crashing into slowed traffic.
The pileup involved 24 passenger vehicles and four semi trucks.
Four people died in the crash and six others were injured.
Video taken by a motorist shows that Aguilera-Mederos bypassed a runaway ramp prior to the fatal crash.
Officials confirmed that this video, which shows a semi driver swerving across lanes and passing a runaway truck ramp on I-70, is Aguilera-Mederos prior to last week’s crash.https://t.co/7T6Wg57Ybf pic.twitter.com/Sdk6rhKQVV
— Denver7 News (@DenverChannel) May 3, 2019
Following his conviction, Aguilera-Mederos told CBS 4, “I am crying all the time, I think about it and I have flashbacks … My life is not a happy life. It is a very sad life because four people died.”