DENVER (TCD) -- A 26-year-old man was sentenced to 110 years in prison Monday for driving a truck that lost control and crashed into several cars and killed four people.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was convicted in October by a Jefferson County jury for four counts of vehicular homicide, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. He also was convicted on 23 other charges, which included six counts of assault in the first degree, 10 counts of attempt to commit assault in the first degree, and one count of reckless driving, among others.
According to the Lakewood Police Department, the fiery and fatal crash occurred April 25, 2019, on the eastbound I-70 near Denver West Parkway. Aguilera-Mederos was reportedly driving a flatbed semitruck carrying lumber "at a high rate of speed" when the vehicle collided with another semi, which caused a chain reaction. Twenty-four cars and four semitrucks were involved in the crash.
Lakewood Police said at the time that "multiple cars were fully engulfed in flames."
Four people died as a result. According to KMGH-TV, they were identified as 61-year-old Doyle Harrison, 67-year-old William Bailey, 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, and 69-year-old Stanley Politano.
KMGH reports Aguilera-Mederos told police he did not have control over the brakes in his truck when he hit the other cars. Traffic was reportedly at a standstill because of another crash on the highway. According to CBS Denver, prosecutors pointed out that Aguilera-Mederos did not use a runaway ramp when his brakes gave out.
He reportedly said in court, "It hurts. I ask God too many times, why them and not me? Why did I survive that accident?"
According to KMGH, Aguilera-Mederos said, "I’m dying. It is hard to live with this trauma... This was a terrible accident, I know. I take responsibility. But it was not intentional. I am not a criminal."