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I-70 Fully Reopens After Fiery Crash That Killed 4

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– Interstate 70 is back open in both directions following an extended closure near the Colorado Mills shopping mall in Jefferson County. Four people were killed on Thursday afternoon and 10 others injured in a fiery crash that happened after a semi truck driver lost control on the interstate.

lakewood semi crash i-70
(credit: CBS)

Officials have arrested driver Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, on vehicular homicide charges. The Lakewood police department says no alcohol or drugs were involved, but Aguilera-Mederos had no control over his truck.

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos (2nd mug, Lakewood PD) copy
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos (credit: Lakewood Police)

"Where he lost control still part of investigation. We have witnesses we want to interview to get time frame where this all took place," said Lakewood police spokesman Ty Countryman.

I-70 in both directions is OPEN at Denver West in Lakewood following yesterday's tragic multi-vehicle crash and fire. ...

Posted by Colorado Department of Transportation on Friday, April 26, 2019

The investigation has determined the driver had a commercial driver's license from Texas.

CNN reported that the brother of the truck driver said he was told by his brother after the crash that his brakes had failed.

Legal analyst Raj Chohan told CBS4, "It may provide some defense, or perhaps even a complete defense if the brakes were maintained properly but failed through no fault of the driver. On the other hand, if the brakes were not maintained properly, the driver or the company may be held to blame."

i-70 asphalt fiery crash
(credit: CBS)

Westbound lanes of I-70 reopened at 2 p.m. Friday. The eastbound lanes opened at approximately 8:15 p.m. The Colorado Department of Transportation said the closure lasted so long because they had to do some major repairs to the roadway, which literally melted under the extreme fire.

"We have 2 to 4 inches of pavement that we have to remove," CDOT chief engineer Joshua Laipply said on Friday.

The victims killed in the crash have not been identified.

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