Mother of trucker speaks out about her son
‘My son is suffering. He is a good boy’: Mother of trucker sentenced to 110 years for fatal crash that killed four people after his brakes failed says she won’t stop fighting until he is home with his family
- Oslaida Mederos said she won’t stop fighting for her son Rogel Aguilera-Mederos after he was given a 110-year prison sentence for a 2019 crash
- Mederos said her son is ‘suffering and is a ‘good boy,’ as he did not mean any harm in the accident or to the victims who were killed
- Aguilera-Mederos, 26, slammed into two dozen vehicles on a Colorado highway in the April 2019 crash that killed four people and injured several others
- He was handed the lengthy sentence on December 13 after he was found guilty on 27 criminal charges in October
- An online petition was created on Change.org to grant Aguilera-Mederos clemency or commutation and has since received nearly five million signatures
- He is due back in court for a re-sentencing request on January 13
Published: 22:06, 28 December 2021 | Updated: 23:18, 28 December 2021
The mother of a truck driver who was given a 110-year prison sentence for a fatal Colorado crash that killed four people said she won’t stop fighting as she demands answers for her son.
Oslaida Mederos spoke to ABC and said that her son Rogel Aguilera-Mederos did not mean any harm to the victims of the 2019 crash.
‘I feel very sad for the people who lost their lives,’ Mederos told the network. ‘And my son is suffering from it, as well as I am.
‘We are Christians, we believe in God and we pray for them. He is a good boy.’
Aguilera-Mederos, 26, was sentenced to 110 years in prison on December 13 after he slammed into two dozen vehicles with his semi on I-70 in Lakewood, Colorado, causing a multi-car pileup that killed four victims and injured others involved.
He was found guilty on 27 of 42 charges against him in Jefferson County Court in October.
The case has since received national attention and an online petition was signed by nearly five million people to grant Aguilera-Mederos clemency or offer him commutation.
Even celebrities such as Kim Kardashian have been vocal about the case, which she helped call public attention to on social media.
She, too, has also called for a lesser sentence for Aguilera-Mederos
‘I have the support of every country in the world,’ his mother also told ABC.
‘They call me every five minutes that they want his freedom… that it was an injustice. It was an accident.’
Oslaida Mederos said she won’t stop fighting for her son Rogel Aguilera-Mederos after he was given a 110-year prison sentence for a 2019 crash
Mederos attended a rally last week in support of her son at the Colorado state capitol which was organized to demand justice for Aguilera-Mederos
Aguilera-Mederos was found guilty on 27 criminal charges in October and received the lengthy sentence on December 13
Aguilera-Mederos crashed into two dozen vehicles with his semi-truck in April 2019 which killed four people and injured several others
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, (pictured) was sentenced earlier this month to 110 years in prison in accordance with Colorado’s minimum sentencing guidelines
A rally was organized for Aguilera-Mederos on the steps of the Capitol building with his mother continuing to seek justice for her son.
‘Please help me. I want to see my son,’ Mederos said, according to PBS. ‘I will die if I don’t see my son soon.’
The family’s attorney, Leonard Martinez, also spoke out on Monday as he continues to fight to bring Aguilera-Mederos home.
‘We want our client home and with his family,’ Martinez told ABC.
‘I’m not sure we’ll get there with the judge, obviously.
And not sure we’ll get there with the governor, but we’re going to try.
‘We’re going to continue to try to get him home as soon as possible.’
Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King is working on reducing the trucker’s sentence as she claims she is willing to recommend 20 to 30 years as that is the minimum the state will allow.
Aguilera-Mederos is now due back in court on January 13 as a judge considers the re-sentencing request.
Jefferson County District Attorney Alexis King announced on Monday she will ‘likely be recommending’ a reduced sentence for him of 20 to 30 years in prison
King had announced her intention to seek a lesser sentence for Aguilera-Mederos last week.
‘Given that the victim in this case have more than one view of an appropriate outcome and this trial court heard the evidence presented, we believe that this hearing is is the best path to securing justice for everyone involved,’ she said in a statement on Thursday.
And in a motion requesting the hearing, King noted: ‘As Colorado law required the imposition of the sentence in this case, the law also permits the Court to reconsider its sentence in an exceptional case involving unusual and extenuating circumstances.’
But Martinez said the district attorney’s new requested sentencing range was not acceptable and was not consistent with similar cases in Colorado and elsewhere in the US.
He said he would instead ask Colorado Governor Jared Polis to grant Aguilera-Mederos clemency.
Polis’ office said on December 14 that it has received a request for clemency and the application was being reviewed.
‘We just received Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ application and our legal team is currently reviewing it. Once we reach a decision, we will make an announcement,’ a spokesperson for Polis said.
Aguilera-Mederos was hauling lumber in an 18-wheeler when he sped down I-70 at 85mph and crashed into two dozen vehicles – including four other transporters stuck in rush-hour traffic on April 25, 2019
Aguilera-Mederos was working for a Houston-based trucking company, hauling lumber at the time of the fatal crash in April 2019
Prosecutors said he was eastbound coming down the interstate from the mountains about 85mph.
They said he swerved at times, forcing others off the road before he crashed into two dozen vehicles causing a giant fireball, FOX 31 reports.
It left behind a scene of ‘significant, just unbelievable carnage,’ Lakewood Police Spokesman Ty Countryman said during a news conference following the crash, noting that some bodies were still in the wreckage hours later.
Video showed cars stopped in every direction as the huge fire spread, sending smoke billowing.
‘This is looking to be one of the worst accidents we’ve had here in Lakewood,’ Countryman said.
Those killed in the crash were Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson, Colorado; William Bailey, 67, of Arvadal; Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24, of Denver; and Staney Politano, 69, of Arvada.
Six others were taken to hospital.
Six others had to be rushed to the hospital in the aftermath of the crash
Aguilera-Mederos has claimed the brakes on his truck had failed
Aguilera-Mederos has since testified that the brakes on his semitrailer failed as he was descending a steep grade of Interstate 70 in the Rocky Mountain foothills.
His defense attorney claimed he did not know that his truck brakes were smoking or that he would not be able to stop.
He also argued that Aguilera-Mederos’ actions were a series of negligent decisions, and that he did not intend to hurt anybody.
But prosecutors argued he should have used a runaway ramp designed for such situations. Aguilera-Mederos, for his part, said he was struggling to avoid traffic and trying to shift to slow down.
On October 15, a jury ultimately found Aguilera-Mederos guilty of 27 criminal charges, including:
- Four counts of vehicular homicide
- Two counts of vehicular assault
- Six counts of assault in the first-degree with extreme indifference
- 10 counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree
- One count of reckless driving
- Four counts of careless driving causing death
He was also found not guilty of 15 counts of criminal attempts to commit assaults in the first degree.
Among the victims of the deadly crash were Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada, Colorado, left, and Miguel Angel Lamas Arrelano, 24, of Denver, right,
Doyle Harrison (left) was also killed in the inferno, as was Victim William Bailey (pictured right with his wife, Gage Evans)
As Aguilera-Mederos faced sentencing on December 13, he issued a statement apologizing to the victims’ families, crying as he spoke.
This was a terrible accident, I know,’ he said. ‘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 claimed that he tried to avoid the traffic, and noted that he did not flee in the aftermath ‘because I respect the laws.
‘I want to say sorry, sorry for the loss, sorry for the people injured,’ he concluded, noting: ‘I ask …
God many times why them and not me.’
Relatives of the victims supported at least some prison time at his sentencing hearing, but in the statement last week, King said she and her team had spoken to the surviving victims of the crash and the families of those who died about the possibility of Aguilera-Mederos being resentenced before she issued her request.
A juror who helped convict him has also said Aguilera-Mederos’ 110-jail sentence is ‘not right.’
‘I cried my eyes out,’ the juror, who remained anonymous, told FOX31.
The juror called the sentence ‘100-fold of what it should have been’ and said that while the trucker was responsible for the crash, Judge A.
Bruce Jones should have given him a ‘more suitable sentence.’
Jones has said his hands are tied due to mandatory minimum laws.
‘There is just something wrong to where a judge cannot intervene in some way and say the way this is written is not right,’ the juror added.
The juror also told FOX31 he feels for the families of the victims, but feels compelled to speak in favor of reducing Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence.
‘I don’t [think] the governor should sit there and offer him clemency and let him off,’ he said.
‘But to step in and say this would be a more suitable sentence for what had happened.’
As of Tuesday, almost 5 million people signed a Change.org calling for the trucker’s sentence to be lessened.
‘Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos … has nothing on his driving record, or on his criminal history,’ says a petition, addressed to Polis and Jefferson County courts.
The governor is the only person who can grant clemency at the state level.
Polis most recently commuted four sentences and issued 18 pardons in December 2020.
Clemency usually results in a sentence reduction or a pardon.
The petition goes on to say that Aguilera-Mederos could have ‘done things differently to avoid the courts,’ but ultimately commended him for taking responsibility and apologizing to the victim’s families.
It has become the website’s third most signed petition, according to the Change.org page.
A Change.org petition to reduce Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence has become the website’s third most signed petitions after it reached 4.6 million signatures, according to the page
Kim Kardashian, who is studying law, has also called for a lesser sentence for Aguilera-Mederos.
She posted on Instagram to her 271 million followers that she had heard about the case and ‘took a deep dive in it to figure out what the situation is.’
She continued: ‘He was not drunk or under the influence; his brakes on the tractor-trailer failed.
‘Another shocking and unfair part of this case is that the judge didn’t want to sentence him to such a lengthy sentence.
‘However, because of the mandatory minimums in Colorado, his hands were tied.
‘Mandatory minimums take away judicial discretion and need to end.’
Kardashian also condemned the gleeful celebrations of the prosecutors, saying their gift of a brake shoe trophy made her ‘sick’.
She added that the governor, Jared Polis, ‘is a really good person and I know he will do the right thing.’