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Trucking company in wreck with deported driver had history of employing unlicensed drivers

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The trucking company who employed a previously deported truck driver recently involved in a fatal wreck in Colorado had a history of ELD violations and hiring unlicensed drivers, investigators found. 

The June 11th wreck near Aspen Park, Colorado caused 47-year-old truck driver Ignacio Cruz Mendoza to overturn in his rig, spilling a load of metal pipes that killed 64-year-old motorist Scott Miller and seriously injured another. Now, the release of Cruz-Mendoza’s arrest affidavit and an investigation into the trucking company who employed him have revealed new details about the incident. 

The Denver Post reports that Cruz-Mendoza told Colorado State Troopers that he left Cheyenne, Wyoming at around 10 a.m. that morning and was not sure of his destination, but said it was stated on his paperwork. He told troopers that he had been in the US for 20 years and had been driving commercial vehicles for seven of those. Cruz-Mendoza also told troopers that he had lost his brakes just before the crash, which led to the incident, and that he did not know the last time the truck had been inspected. 

Troopers investigating the scene discovered skid marks at the crash site, indicating that the commercial vehicle’s brakes were at least “partially functional” at the time of the wreck. The truck was also found to have last been inspected in 2020. 

An investigation into the trucking company Cruz-Mendoza was working for, Monique Trucking LLC, revealed that the company had four previous violations related to ELDs, and three previous violations for their drivers not possessing commercial drivers licenses. 

A statement from ICE Denver indicates that Cruz-Mendoza was first arrested and deported back to Mexico in 2002, and has been ordered to leave at least 16 times since. He is currently in custody at the Jefferson County Jail on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, June 18th.

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