26-Year-Old Truck Driver Sentenced 110 Years For Crash That Killed Four

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A semi-truck driver responsible for the death of four people after crashing into stopped traffic has been sentenced to 110 years in prison, ABC7 reported Tuesday.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, who was 23 at the time, was heading eastbound on I-70 in 2019 when he encountered stopped traffic due to an accident on the highway, according to ABC 7 Denver. Mederos reportedly attempted to slow down, but the breaks on his semi-truck failed and he drove on the shoulder before he ended up crashing into traffic.

Twenty-four cars and four other semi-trucks were wrecked in the accident, ABC 7 Denver reported. Investigators claim that Mederos was driving at approximately 85 miles per hour just before crashing, according to ABC 7 Denver.

In addition to the four Coloradans killed, at least 10 others were injured, according to ABC 7 Denver. (RELATED: 7 Killed In 20-Car Crash During Utah Sandstorm)

Before the Judge delivered his sentencing on Tuesday, the relatives of the deceased took the stand to express how their lives have changed as a result of the defendants actions, CBS Denver reported.

Kathleen Harrison, who lost her husband Doyle told the courtroom that she feels like she’s lost a piece of herself.

Some relatives of the deceased demanded prison time, some also spoke of forgiveness, CBS Denver reported.

“I do believe [Mederos] needs to take responsibility for [his] actions,” Harrison’s daughter said. “I know [he] did not intend for this to happen, but because of [his] actions it did happen” she said.

Prosecutors argued that there were many things Medero could have done to prevent the crash, including using a runaway truck ramp he passed miles before he crashed, according to ABC 7 Denver. But his defense attorneys argued that the defendant was not aware that his brakes weren’t working at the time.

Mederos was working for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, a Houston-based trucking company, when the 2019 incident occurred, according to ABC 7 Denver. The company has been found to have a slew of violations,  including but not limited to issues with their vehicles brakes, ABC 7 Denver reported. (RELATED: 4- And 9-Year Old Steal Parents’ Car, Crash Into Semi-Truck Because They Wanted To ‘Swim In The Ocean’)

“It’s hard to live with this trauma. I can’t sleep, I’m thinking all the time about the victims,” Mederos said during his trial. “… This was a terrible accident, I know. I take the responsibility. But it wasn’t intentional.”

Judge A. Bruce Jones acknowledged that although the 26-year-old did not intend to harm anyone, he had to face the consequences to his actions, according to KKTV 11. But if he had a choice, he said, it would not have been 110 years in prison.

Due to Colorado’s current laws, the Judge shared, he was not permitted to sentence the defendant to anything less.

“I accept and respect what the defendant has said about his lack of intent to hurt people, but he made a series of terrible decisions, reckless decisions,” he said. “[But] if I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence.”