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Semi driver arrested, facing charges in deadly crash on Highway 285 near Conifer in Colorado foothills

Semi truck driver arrested, facing charges in fatal crash on Hwy 285 near Conifer
Semi truck driver arrested, facing charges in fatal crash on Hwy 285 near Conifer 03:04

A semi driver has been arrested, and accused in connection with a deadly crash on Colorado Highway 285 on Tuesday that kept the busy highway closed for more than 12 hours. 

  Ignacio Cruz-Mendoz Jefferson County

Ignacio Cruz-Mendoza, 47, is facing charges of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, reckless driving, drove a commercial vehicle not qualified- no CDL or commercial driver license. 


The deadly crash happened on Tuesday afternoon. Investigators said the truck was headed south when it veered off the edge of the road, rolling onto its side near Conifer. That truck, owned by Monique Trucking, spilled 47,000 pounds of steel pipes onto five other vehicles near Conifer on Tuesday afternoon. 

According to the arrest affidavit, Cruz-Mendoza had an "eligible" commercial license out of Mexico but no record for a U.S. driver license. His driving history also shows two convictions in 2022 for speeding and operating without equipment as required by law out of Pennsylvania. The 5th axle brakes on the semi were also "way" below the minimum requirements. 

The arrest affidavit shows that during a conversation with investigating officers, Cruz-Mendoza claimed he had been driving a commercial motor vehicle for the past seven years while living in the U.S. 


Witnesses told investigators that the semi was traveling 60-80 mph before the crash in a zone where the speed limit is 45 mph, according to the arrest affidavit. 

Cruz-Mendoza was traveling from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Farmington, N.M. Monique Trucking is based in Indio, California. 

The Colorado State Patrol identified the deceased as Scott Miller, 64. Another person involved in the crash suffered serious bodily injury. 

Cruz-Mendoza is scheduled to appear in Jefferson County Court on June 18 for a hearing.   

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