The driver of a semitrailer who lost control coming down Interstate 70 into Lakewood two years ago and slammed into stopped traffic, killing four people, was convicted Friday of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
The jury found Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 25, guilty on six counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, 10 counts of attempted first-degree assault, six counts of careless driving and one count of reckless driving.
The jurors, however, acquitted Aguilera-Mederos on an additional 15 counts of attempted first-degree assault.
Following the reading of the verdict, Aguilera-Mederos was taken into custody. He faces decades in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 13.
The fiery April 25, 2019, crash killed Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24, William Bailey, 67, Doyle Harrison, 61, and Stanley Politano, 69. Six others were injured.
On that April day, Aguilera-Mederos’ semitrailer full of lumber barreled down I-70 at speeds in excess of 85 mph, forcing other vehicles off the road before smashing into standstill traffic under a bridge near Colorado Mills Parkway in Lakewood.
The crash ignited fires as the lumber on Aguilera-Mederos’ truck ignited, with temperatures on the highway reaching more than 2,500 degrees, authorities said.
Aguilera-Mederos testified this week that, with his brakes failing, he attempted to hit the edge of a parked 18-wheeler’s trailer to slow down, then tried to steer toward a space between traffic.
“But once I hit it, I was unable to control anything,” he testified. “I thought, ‘Dear God, don’t let anything bad happen.’ At the moment of my impact, I closed my eyes and I hugged the wheel.”
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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