The driver of a semi truck that plowed into traffic along Interstate 70 near Denver, killing four people, was convicted Friday of vehicular homicide and other charges, prosecutors said.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was behind the wheel of the semi in April 2019, traveling at 85 mph, when the brakes failed, he told investigators at the time. He tried to pull over to the shoulder to avoid stopped traffic but another semi had already stopped there, according to an arrest affidavit.
Aguilera-Mederos, 26, told investigators “he thought he was going to die so he closed his eyes before hitting the stopped traffic,” the affidavit said.
In addition to four counts of vehicular homicide, Aguilera-Mederos was found guilty of 23 other charges, according to Colorado’s First Judicial District Attorney’s Office: Six counts of assault in the first degree — extreme indifference; 10 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.
His sentencing hearing is set for December 13.
The fiery 28-vehicle crash killed four people and injured several others, the Lakewood Police Department said at the time.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victims as Colorado residents: Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson; William Bailey, 67, of Arvada; Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24, of Denver; and Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada.
A witness told police that Aguilera-Mederos was “wide eyed” and “with a terrified look on his face” moments before the accident, according to the affidavit.
There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in the crash, authorities said at the time.
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