A petition to grant clemency to a truck driver sentenced to 110 years has reached almost 3 million signatures…
The internet is outraged with the decision.
On April 25, 2019, twenty-six-year-old Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was driving an 18-wheeler when the breaks stopped working on Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado, resulting in a huge crash…
The truck subsequently caught fire as it hit 2 dozen other vehicles stuck in traffic, tragically killing 4 people: Doyle Harrison, 61; William Bailey, 67; Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24; and Staney Politano, 69.
Now, 2 years on, judge A. Bruce Jones has sentenced Aguilera-Mederos to 110 years in prison. Admitting, due to state laws, that was the minimum he could give the trucker.
Aguilera-Mederos claimed he lost control of his truck after the breaks stopped working, but prosecutors disputed that he made a “bunch of bad decisions” leading up to the crash that could have been prevented, including failing to use a runaway truck ramp before colliding with the cars.
But his defense attorney stated that Aguilera-Mederos didn’t know his brakes weren’t working until it was too late, and that he never intended to hurt anyone.
However, this October, a jury found him guilty, charging him with “4 counts of vehicular homicide, 2 counts of vehicular assault, 6 counts of assault in the first degree with extreme indifference, 10 counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree, 1 count of reckless driving, and 4 counts of careless driving causing death.”
Aguilera-Mederos spoke to the judge a final time before Monday’s sentencing, saying: “It’s hard. This was a terrible accident, I know. I take the responsibility, but it was an accident.
“I have never thought about hurting anyone in my entire life and Jesus Christ, he knows that he knows my heart,” he continued.
“I am not a criminal, I am not a murderer. The accident – it wasn’t intentional, it wasn’t intentional, Your Honor. I did all that I can as a man. I put myself in harm’s way to avoid harming anyone else.”
He concluded: “I want to say sorry, sorry for the loss, sorry for the people injured. I ask … God many times why them and not me.”
And since the news of his sentence hit headlines, a Change.org petition has gone viral, with almost 3 million signatures to get Aguilera-Mederos clemency.
People don’t feel he committed any crime, but instead, blame the Houston-based trucking company he was working for at the time for their faulty equipment…
The petition reads: “Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23 has nothing on his driving record, or on his criminal history. He had complied with every single request by the Jefferson County courts, and investigators on the case. He’s passed all of the drug and alcohol tests that were given including a chemical test.”
Adding: “This accident was not intentional, nor was it a criminal act on the driver’s part. No one but the trucking company he is/was employed by should be held accountable for this accident. No, we are not trying to make it seem any less of a tragic accident than it is because yes, lives were lost.”
“We are trying to hold the person who needs to be held responsible, responsible. The trucking company has had several inspections since 2017, with several mechanical violations.”
The petition concluded: “There are many things Rogel could have done to avoid the courts, but he took responsibility showed up, and severely apologized to the victim’s families. Some of the families even offered Forgiveness.
“Rogel is not a criminal, the company he was working for knew the federal laws that go into truck driving but they failed to follow those laws.
Rogel has said several times that he wishes he had the courage to crash and take his own life that day, this tragic accident wasn’t done with Intent, it wasn’t a criminal act, it was an accident. Since he has been sentenced, I have changed this to granting Rogel clemency or commutation-as time served.”
You can sign the petition, if you’d like it, here.