JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The driver of a semitrailer in a fiery crash on the Colorado interstate that killed four people in 2019 was sentenced Monday to 110 consecutive years in prison.
The judge said those were the minimum requirements under state sentencing guidelines, but that could change as the sentence is reviewed.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, was driving an 18-wheeler in April 2019 when he crashed into more than two dozen stopped vehicles and four semitrailers on Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado.
He spoke at the sentencing, which can be viewed in the video player above.
“This was a terrible accident, I know, but it wasn’t intentional,” he said.
In a very emotional scene at the Justice Center during the sentencing, family members of victims talked about how they could barely go on without their loved ones lost that day.
Lakewood Police Department Agent Ty Countryman said the crash began when a semitrailer traveling at a high rate of speed on the highway collided with other vehicles, starting a chain reaction and fire.
Aguilera-Moderos was driving the semitrailer, which was loaded with lumber. Prosecutors say he barreled eastbound down the interstate from the mountains at speeds of up to 85 mph and that his truck swerved at times, forcing other drivers off the road.
A giant fireball erupted after Aguileras-Mederos slammed into dozens of cars already backed up.
Aquilaras-Mederos claimed the brakes on the truck failed and he lost control.
In October, a jury found Aguilera-Mederos guilty of 27 counts.:
- Vehicular homicide: 4 counts
- Vehicular assault: 2 counts
- Assault in the first degree – extreme indifference: 6 counts
- Criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree: 10 counts
- Reckless driving: 1 count
- Careless driving causing death: 4 counts
He was found not guilty of 15 counts of criminal attempts to commit assault in the first degree.
An appeal is expected.