Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, the semitrailer driver suspected of causing the deadly crash and fire on Interstate 70 in Lakewood Thursday appeared before a judge Saturday afternoon.
A total of 36 felony charges and four misdemeanor were filed by prosecutors against Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, age 23, accused of driving with driving a semi-trailer truck with excessive speed, and a fatal crash with fire on Interstate 70 near Lakewood, California on Thursday, April 25, 2019. The crash killed four men, seriously injured two men, left several others with minor injuries. The crash involved nearly 30 vehicles.
“He was operating the vehicle under circumstances where he was exhibiting extreme indifference to the value of human life,” Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir said Friday. His defense attorney, Robb Corry, said the accident is still under investigation and that his client has a clean driving record. He added that the truck must have had some type of malfunction.
Aguilera-Mederos, a truck driver from Houston, was observed at the western part of I-70 near the Genesee Parkway/exit and Lookout Mountain driving extremely fast and in a reckless manner. The speed limit for the type of commercial vehicle that Aguilera-Mederos was operating is 45 mph. The estimated speed that Aguilera-Mederos was driving eastbound on I-70 was in excess of 85 mph, according to Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir.
Among the charges, Aguilera-Mederos faces vehicular homicide and first-degree assault.
CBS4 reporter Rick Sallinger asked defense attorney Corry if his client could read the sign that indicated a ramp for runaway trucks. Corry replied, “This is an ongoing investigation.”
Aguilera-Mederos’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 11, 2019. Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos remains in custody on $400,000 bond.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was in the United States from Cuba on a Green Card.
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Trucker accused of causing fatal crash worked for company with history of brake issues.
The trucking company that employed I-70 crash suspect Rogel Aguilera-Mederos has been cited 30 times for various safety violations in less than two years.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, tentatively faces multiple charges of vehicular homicide related to last week’s Interstate 70 accident, which also injured 10 people.