The alleged driver of the truck that plowed into stopped traffic on I-70 in the Denver area last month, killing four, has been formally charged with 40 criminal counts.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, of Houston, has been charged with four counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, and 24 counts of attempted first-degree assault. He is being held at the Jefferson County, Colo., jail on a $400,000 bond.
Jefferson County District Attorney Pete Weir announced the charges on Friday, May 3.
The charges stem from a deadly chain-reaction collision that occurred April 25 on I-70 at the Denver West Parkway bridge over the interstate in Lakewood, Colo.
The semitrailer allegedly driven by Aguilera-Mederos was eastbound when it hit the other vehicles, which included 24 passenger vehicles and four tractor-trailers.
Traffic was at a near standstill because of an earlier collision on I-70 west of there.
Aguilera-Mederos told police that his truck's brakes had failed. He was going 85 mph, he told police. He also said he tried to maneuver his truck to the shoulder but there was another truck already there, so he swerved back into traffic.
Aguilera-Mederos, a U.S. resident from Cuba, has a commercial driver's license from Texas. He was driving for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, Houston, pulling a flatbed trailer of lumber.
Castellano 03 Trucking has five trucks and five drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System has them listed as a company with no safety rating. They have 23 violations in the vehicle maintenance category, with four of those being brake-related.
Four Colorado men were killed in the collision: Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson; William Bailey, 67, of Arvada; Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24, of Denver; and Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada.
No additional court dates have been set.
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