Bond set for driver in Denver-area I-70 crash
April 29, 2019
•Land Line Staff
Bond was set Saturday for the 23-year-old driver alleged to have driven a semitrailer into stopped traffic in the Denver area on Thursday, killing four people.
Bond for Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was set at $400,000 cash or surety. 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 may 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.
Prosecutors had sought a $500,000 cash bond. In the bond hearing, as recorded by KDVR, the Denver Fox News affiliate, prosecution noted that Aguilera-Mederos was from Cuba and had a green card to work in the United States. A translator informed Aguilera-Mederos of what was being said.
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.
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.
Aguilera-Mederos was driving for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, Houston, according to a report by KDVR quoting members of Aguilera-Mederos’family. He was pulling a flatbed of lumber.
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:
- Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24, of Denver.
- William Bailey, 67, of Arvada.
- Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson
- 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.