110 Years In Prison: Appeal Planned For Truck Driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos Convicted in Crash That Killed 4 On I-70
/ CBS Colorado
(CBS4) -- The attorney for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the truck driver sentenced on Monday to more than a century in prison, says an appeal is planned in the case.
James Colgan told CBS4's Rick Sallinger the appeal will not be based on the sentence given, but any errors that may have occurred during the trial.
It has not been just those who drive big rigs who find what happened in Colorado this week is startling. By Thursday morning, than 1.5 million people had signed an online petition asking Gov. Jared Polis to grant clemency, or commutation as time served.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was sentenced to 110 years in prison after being convicted of 27 counts in the fiery crash on eastbound Interstate 70 in Lakewood in April 2019.
"It's unbelievable, honestly, because it could happen anytime, anywhere," said David Splain, a truck driver from North Carolina, passing through Colorado. "If the brakes fail, the brakes fail. It's a malfunction."
Four people were killed in the crash.
The truck driver was convicted of vehicular homicide, assault and recklessness -- due partly because he bypassed a runaway truck ramp -- instead swerving into stopped traffic on I-70.
During the sentencing, the driver told Judge Bruce Jones, "I'm begging for forgiveness, I wish all the heart felt pain to go away."
The judge made clear he had no choice in the sentence under the guidelines set by the laws.
The attorney for Aguilera-Mederos told CBS4 there will be an appeal.
The case has gained attention. By Thursday evening, an online petition had around two million signatures calling for clemency or commutation of the sentence.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said he has not ruled that out.
"We review all clemency applications. We have yet to receive one from the individual."
Some not all victims of the crash settled lawsuits against the trucking company involved, but It has since gone out of business. The truck driver now left to take the brunt of what happened.
At a truck stop not far from where the crash took place a driver from Arizona put it this way: "The loss of life is sad regardless, but 110 years that seems a bit much in my opinion."
Truckers like him, who pass by on I-70, may not notice, but here there is a small memorial to this very major crash.