Millions Outraged After Truck Driver Sentenced to 110 Years for Deadly Pile-up
A truck driver received a 110-year prison sentence for a 2019 pile-up crash that left four dead and others injured.
During the sentencing hearing, Colorado District Court Judge A. Bruce Jones said he was obligated to follow the state’s laws on a mandatory-minimum sentence.
According to investigators, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos lost control of the semi-truck after its brakes failed on a highway near Denver. The truck was traveling at about 85 miles per hour before it slammed into dozens of other cars, causing an explosion.
Prosecutors argued that the defendant could have utilized several runaway truck ramps but instead made a “bunch of bad decisions.”
“I am not a criminal,” Aguilera-Mederos said at his sentencing through tears. “I am not a murderer. I am not a killer. When I look at my charges, we are talking about a murderer, which is not me. I have never thought about hurting anybody in my entire life.”
A petition on Change.org entitled “Offer commutation as time served, or grant clemency to Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23” has garnered more than 4,600,000 votes.
“Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23 has nothing on his driving record, or on his criminal history. He had complied with every single request by the Jefferson County courts, and investigators on the case. [He’s] passed all of the drug and alcohol tests that were given including a chemical test. This accident was not intentional, nor was it a criminal act on the [driver’s] part,” the petition reads.
According to Fox News, truck drivers are protesting the decision by refusing to drive through Colorado.
A civil rights group, the League of United Latin American Citizens, sent a letter to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) requesting a pardon or reduced sentencing.
“He got 110 years in prison on his first offense when it was clearly an accident,” said Domingo Garcia, president of the organization. “It could happen to anybody. Your brakes go out. It was not intentional. It’s not something that he was trying to do.”
“It was an egregious miscarriage of justice,” Garcia said.