GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — A truck driver who was convicted of causing a fiery pileup that killed four people and injured six others on Interstate 70 west of Denver was sentenced Monday to 110 years in prison.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, was convicted in October of vehicular homicide and other charges stemming from the April 2019 crash. He testified that the brakes on his semitrailer failed before he plowed into vehicles that had slowed because of another wreck in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, The Denver Post reported.
But prosecutors argued he could have used one of several runaway ramps as his truck barreled down from the mountains. The chain-reaction wreck ruptured gas tanks, causing flames that consumed several vehicles and melted parts of the highway.
A Jefferson County jury convicted Aguilera-Mederos of six counts of vehicular homicide, six counts of first-degree assault, 10 counts of attempted first-degree assault, six counts of careless driving and one count of reckless driving. He was acquitted of 15 additional counts of attempted first-degree assault.
Aguilera-Mederos, who was hauling lumber, was traveling at least 85 mph (137 kph) on a part of the interstate where commercial vehicles are limited to 45 mph (72 kph) because of a steep descent from the Rocky Mountain foothills, according to investigators. The initial impact caused a 28-vehicle chain-reaction wreck.
Police said that just before the crash, the truck traveled past a ramp on the side of the interstate that is designed to safely stop trucks and other vehicles that have lost their brakes.
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This article originally appeared on US News