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Wife of trucker killed in crash with deported driver calls for “more accountability on the truckers”

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The wife of an off-duty trucker killed in a crash with a previously deported driver appeared in court on Tuesday to demand “more accountability on the truckers.”

Ignacio Criz-Mendoza made his first court appearance on Tuesday, June 18th after a fatal wreck that spilled his load of metal pipes and took the life of 64-year-old Scott Miller. 

According to Denver 7, Miller was on his way home from the grocery store and was less than six miles from his house when he died in the incident. Miller was also a truck driver who owned his own water hauling business and often transported water through the mountains. 

“We had just talked. I had just talked to him probably 10 minutes on the phone before he died,” said Miller’s wife, DeAnn Miller. “And then I got stuck in the traffic, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, another accident.’ And how ironic, I got a detour home, and it was my husband that was in that accident.”

Miller’s family says that he had a major focus on safety while driving trucks, and even trained some of the drivers at his own company. 

“It was of his utmost concern, the safety of the truck drivers that drive heavy big rigs up in the mountains,” saidMiller’s daughter, Michelle Tusa. “Since I was a kid, he’s always told me to be careful to drive around trucks, especially in the mountains because it takes an extreme amount of skill to drive equipment like that through mountain roads with steep grades and you just never know who you’re driving next to.”

“I would just like to protect other people on the road, because this has been happening too much. And if his death is going to mean anything, it’s going to mean that people are more aware and that truckers, as a profession, are more careful,” Tusa continued. 

Cruz-Mendoza had been deported at least 16 times prior to the crash and had no CDL. The company he was driving for has a history of employing truck drivers without a license

“My husband would be alive today if there was more accountability on the truckers on the road and there isn’t,” DeAnn Miller told CBS reporters. “So I’m gonna be fighting for that.”

Cruz-Mendoza is facing charges of careless driving resulting in death and careless driving resulting in injury and is being held on $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on July 31st.

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