Bond was set Saturday for the 23-year-old truck driver, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, alleged to have driven a semitrailer into stopped traffic in the Denver area on Thursday, killing four people.
He was ordered by the court to surrender his passport if it was not destroyed in the collision. He also was ordered to remain in Colorado and not drive a commercial vehicle. His next scheduled court date is Friday, May 4. Formal charges are expected then. He is being held on suspicion of four counts of vehicular homicide.
While prosecutors said Aguilera-Mederos had few ties to Colorado or the U.S., the attorney for Aguilera-Mederos said his client had family in Colorado, in and around Houston and in Florida. The attorney said Aguilera-Mederos was in “deep sorrow,” was suffering from “survivor’s guilt,” and was cooperating with police. He noted that Aguilera-Mederos had not tested positive for drug or alcohol use and had no criminal history. He was pulling a flatbed load of lumber.
The chain-reaction collision happened around 4:50 p.m. local time on Thursday, April 25, at the Denver West Parkway bridge over I-70 in Lakewood, Colo., in the Denver area. The semi was eastbound when it hit the other vehicles, which included 24 passenger vehicles and four tractor-trailers.
Traffic was at a near standstill because of a previous collision on I-70 west of there.
Westbound lanes closed because of the collision reopened Friday afternoon. Eastbound lanes reopened Friday evening.
Castellano 03 Trucking has five trucks and five drivers, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA’s Safety Measurement System has them listed as a company with no safety rating. They have 23 violations in the vehicle maintenance category, with four of those being brake-related.
The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office on Sunday identified the crash victims who died in the incident as four Colorado men:
- Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson
- William Bailey, 67, of Arvada.
- Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24, of Denver.
- Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing. The Lakewood Police Department has set up a tip line for anybody with information about the crash.
If you have any information, were a witness or have footage, call 303-763-6800.