Two million sign clemency petition for driver who cried as he was sentenced to 110 years over crash that killed four

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was previously found guilty on 42 counts for a collision on the Colorado interstate in April 2019

Tom Fenton
Friday 17 December 2021 15:51
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A clemency petition has received more than 2m signatures after a lorry driver was handed a 110-year prison sentence for a fatal interstate collision.

Four people were killed on the Colorado Interstate in April 2019, when Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos lost control of his 18-wheeler, and ploughed into a dozen cars. The resulting explosion created a vast fireball, one that proved fatal.

As LADbible reports, the driver claims that he lost control of the brakes and when he saw traffic that was already stopped due to another crash, he took the truck onto the shoulder before crashing into stationary traffic on an overpass. 

At his trial, Judge A Bruce Jones’ hands were tied when it came to sentencing Aguilera-Mederos, who received 42 counts in total. This added up to a 110-year prison sentence, which The Denver Channel claims is the minimum range afforded to the accused on every count.

However, this hasn’t stopped a Change petition from being launched, one that is calling for the 25-year-old to be granted clemency.

“Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos 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,” the petition outlines, which is addressed to Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Jefferson County courts.

“This accident was not intentional, nor was it a criminal act on the driver’s part.

“Since he has been sentenced, I have changed this to granting Rogel [Aguilera-Mederos] clemency or commutation-as time served.”

Clemency, in this case, would essentially require a senior political figure, such as Colorado Governor Polis, to pardon Aguilera-Mederos. With over 2.7m signatures at the time of writing, it is one of the most-signed petitions on the entire Change.org site.

Prior to his sentencing on Monday, Aguilera-Mederos broke down in tears and pleaded with the judge for leniency.

Aguilera-Mederos was tearful in court

“I’m dying. It is hard to live with this trauma. I can’t sleep. I’m thinking all [the time] about the victims,” he told the court.

“I am not a criminal, I am not a murderer.”

He went on to clarify, in no uncertain terms, that he tried to avoid traffic, adding that he didn’t flee the scene following the accident on account of respecting the law.

“I want to say sorry, sorry for the loss, sorry for the people injured. I ask God many times why them and not me,” the Houston-native added.

An attorney for Aguilera-Mederos confirmed to CBS4 that an appeal is set to be made, although the chances of the verdict being overturned - unless clemency is applied - remain very slim.

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