• We will be performing necessary maintenance on the forum and related hardware from Satuday 25th of September onward. Users might experience some downtime, which we will ensure that it is limited - if at all noticeable.

3 million sign petition after trucker driver gets 110-year sentence

Do you agree or disagree with the sentence in this case?

  • Agree

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Disagree - Too Lenient

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • Disagree - Too Harsh

    Votes: 25 96.2%
  • Don't Care

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    26

Crackers Phinn

Either A Blessing Or A Lesson.

3 million sign petition after trucker driver gets 110-year sentence​

A truck driver was sentenced earlier this week to 110 years in prison for a 2019 crash that left four people dead and several others injured in Colorado. By Friday, more than 3 million people had signed a petition, asking Colorado Governor Jared Polis to grant clemency to Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, or commutation for time served. Heather Gilbee, the author of the change.org petition wrote, "We are not trying to make it seem any less of a tragic accident that it is because yes, lives were lost."

In April 2019, the truck Aguilera-Mederos was driving lost its brakes, CBS Denver reported. He passed one of the state's runaway truck ramps as he descended from the mountains, a point the prosecution focused heavily on during the trial.

He then crashed into several cars stopped on eastbound I-70 in Lakewood, sparking a massive fire. The highway was shut down in both directions for roughly 24 hours, according to the station. The crash killed 24-year-old Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 67-year-old William Bailey; 61-year-old Doyle Harrison and 69-year-old Stanley Politano. Aguilera-Mederos was ultimately convicted of 27 counts, including vehicular homicide.

Before he was sentenced, Aguilera-Mederos told CBS Denver he tried his best to avoid the vehicles stopped on the road, but couldn't avoid them all. "My life is not a happy life. It is a very sad life because four people died," he said tearfully, adding that he wished he had died rather than the four who did. During sentencing, the judge acknowledged that Aguilera-Mederos didn't intend to harm anyone. But under guidelines set by the law, his sentence could be no less than 110 years.

"I accept and respect what the defendant has said ... but he made a series of terrible decisions — reckless decisions," the judge said.
William Bailey's widow told CBS Denver that Aguilera-Mederos deserved a prison sentence and was relieved at the jury's verdict.
"He was found guilty of reckless behavior that killed my husband that was the most important thing to me," Gage Evans said.
Investigators with the Lakewood Police Department said no alcohol or drugs were involved in the crash, according to CBS Denver.
James Colgan, an attorney for Aguilera-Mederos, told CBS Denver on Thursday that an appeal is planned in the case.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
Where do I sign?

because people who intentionally act reckless with peoples lives:
Derek Chauvin and the Killers of Ahmaud Aubrey get way less time. Like this is ridiculous.

Oh and this is because older white men died. Period. The widow of one man was happy he got 110 years. As if he'd live that long, or that would get her her spouse back.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
Also, what were the other terrible decisions he made? He wasn’t on substances. It was an accident. Maybe he couldn’t get over to the ramp ? Trying to avoid other people?

He also did not perform his required pre-trip truck inspection, where he may have caught the fact that his brakes were failing.

Does anyone know the reason he gave in court for passing up the runaway ramps?

Runaway ramps aren't suicide ramps. Truckers use them and live all the time. But it’s very damaging to their trucks and very expensive to have them removed from the ramp. That’s why truckers don’t want to use them unless they feel they have absolutely no other options. So if he made a decision that put lives at risk because he didn’t want to assume the financial responsibility, the deaths are on him, and not just an unforeseen accident.

I still think 110 years is excessive.
 
Last edited:

Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
I got that answer about runaway ramps directly from a 10 year veteran Class A CDL truck driver - my DH as we were driving through the mountains of Chattanooga in October. I guess it depends on the type of ramp but essentially the truck can stop but the load can go through cabin and crush the driver.

Yep he should catch the heat for flubbing the pre-trip inspection - happens a lot unfortunately. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get punished but first degree murder usually gets 25 to life and y’all out here charging him with 110 years?! For why?!

Runaway Truck Fatality Brings Ramp Safety Into Question
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
I got that answer about runaway ramps directly from a 10 year veteran Class A CDL truck driver - my DH as we were driving through the mountains of Chattanooga in October. I guess it depends on the type of ramp but essentially the truck can stop but the load can go through cabin and crush the driver.

Yep he should catch the heat for flubbing the pre-trip inspection - happens a lot unfortunately. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get punished but first degree murder usually gets 25 to life and y’all out here charging him with 110 years?! For why?!

Runaway Truck Fatality Brings Ramp Safety Into Question

A trucker could die on the runaway ramp. A trucker could die anytime their brakes fail on a highway. This trucker could’ve died along with the 4 victims. What I’m saying is that using the runaway ramp isn’t the death sentence you’re making it out to be. Truckers use it and they live— not every single one ever, but the majority live.

My DH isn’t a truck driver, but my uncle was, for almost 30 years. And I remember him talking about having to use the ramp at least once, and he was living to tell the tale. And so are these truckers:


There are countless other stories and videos online of drivers using the ramps.

Yes, someone could die. Trucking is dangerous. But I think everyone would prefer the death of a single truck driver, over the dozens they could potentially kill in a situation like this.

We are on the same page as far as his sentence being too harsh.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
He also did not perform his required pre-trip truck inspection, where he may have caught the fact that his brakes were failing.

Does anyone know the reason he gave in court for passing up the runaway ramps?

Runaway ramps aren't suicide ramps. Truckers use them and live all the time. But it’s very damaging to their trucks and very expensive to have them removed from the ramp. That’s why truckers don’t want to use them unless they feel they have absolutely no other options. So if he made a decision that put lives at risk because he didn’t want to assume the financial responsibility, the deaths are on him, and not just an unforeseen accident.

I still think 110 years is excessive.
Thanks for clearing that up.
And WOW...Like WOW.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
Thanks for clearing that up.
And WOW...Like WOW.

I just want to clarify that the financial aspect is my speculation based on what I’ve read about the cost and time it takes to remove trucks from the ramp. His defense (of course they won’t say he didn’t stop cause it costs too much) was that he didn’t see the ramp.

He at one point pulled over to check the brakes, but continued the trip. He also did a fair bit of obvious lying on stand trying to explain why.
Wildeman also questioned Aguilera-Mederos about why he did not take a runaway truck ramp that he passed after he lost his brakes, and asked him to explain why he continued driving after he pulled over to check his brakes after coming off Berthoud Pass. She focused on his actions well before the fatal crash, including witness testimony that he was driving recklessly in the hours beforehand.

Aguilera-Mederos said he saw the first two signs for the truck ramp — at 1 1/2 miles and 3/4 miles before the ramp — but said he did not see the last two signs for the ramp. He testified that he had not lost his brakes until after he’d passed the first two signs for the ramp. He added that he had always seen runaway truck ramps that go uphill, not downhill like the ramp he passed on I-70 heading toward Denver.

He testified that he believed his brakes were in working order after he stopped at Berthoud Pass and called his boss and another trucker for advice.

“If the brakes were working fine, why did you call two different people to help you?” Wildeman asked.


“Because they were two people who had much more experience than me,” Aguilera-Mederos said. “That’s not wrong.”

Some of Aguilera-Mederos’ testimony contradicted testimony from other witnesses. Wildeman kept a list of the contradictions on a large piece of paper pinned to an easel beside her throughout his hours-long testimony.

“There were several people who took the stand and told you they saw your brakes smoking, right?” she asked him.
“What I am trying to tell you is that I never saw that and I never saw the brakes smoking,” he said. “I was paying attention to many things. I never saw them smoking.”
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
I just want to clarify that the financial aspect is my speculation based on what I’ve read about the cost and time it takes to remove trucks from the ramp. His defense (of course they won’t say he didn’t stop cause it costs too much) was that he didn’t see the ramp.

He at one point pulled over to check the brakes, but continued the trip. He also did a fair bit of obvious lying on stand trying to explain why.
That also helps me understand the point of the guilty verdict as well. Since we all agree the sentencing was excessive.
 

Jmartjrmd

Well-Known Member
They threw every charge they could at him and because of mandatory minimum sentences the judge had no discretion on the sentence.
Like the 3 Aubery murderers are getting mandatory life sentences. Only thing left to the judge is parole eligibility or not.
 

silverbuttons

Not Impressed
If one is judging his case alone, yes his sentence fits the crime. he was negligent and ignored important signs that may have saved lives.

when compared to how they sentence drunk drivers, rapists, molesters and their own… this was heavy handed. Not illegal, the jury knew that this was a possibility and agreed to find him guilty on all charges.
 

Theresamonet

Well-Known Member
If one is judging his case alone, yes his sentence fits the crime. he was negligent and ignored important signs that may have saved lives.

when compared to how they sentence drunk drivers, rapists, molesters and their own… this was heavy handed. Not illegal, the jury knew that this was a possibility and agreed to find him guilty on all charges.

I don’t think the sentence fits the crime. Being negligent, incompetent, and inexperienced at your job, and costing others their lives, is a terrible thing and it should be punished. But I think sentences this severe should be reserved for those who intentionally set out to kill or harm.

Of course, families of the victims will urge the courts to throw the book at them—give them chair, because their loved ones can never have a 2nd chance at life. But that’s not justice. That’s revenge. Justice is supposed to be rational, not emotional.
 

luckiestdestiny

Well-Known Member
I don’t think the sentence fits the crime. Being negligent, incompetent, and inexperienced at your job, and costing others their lives, is a terrible thing and it should be punished. But I think sentences this severe should be reserved for those who intentionally set out to kill or harm.

Of course, families of the victims will urge the courts to throw the book at them—give them chair, because their loved ones can never have a 2nd chance at life. But that’s not justice. That’s revenge. Justice is supposed to be rational, not emotional.
100 percent agreed. I think some families will rise above the emotion and do the right thing ethically too but others will not like you said. The ethical ones will know it's just not right even if their relatives died, to give that man 110 years. Then there will be the ones out for more than an eye for an eye. They'll want the whole body for the eye no questions asked.

But again, the law is supposed to rise above alladat and do the right thing.
 

Jmartjrmd

Well-Known Member
This makes sense.

It's a shame the governor had to reduce things.

Does this mean the judge had no option but to give him a million years (110/ a million same thing. He'd be dead by the time the sentence ended). ..or was he setting an example and the governor had to step in and do the right thing?
Yes the judge had no choice because that state has mandatory sentences so he had no choice but to hand him the 110 years.
 

Seattle Slew

WinterinAtl
The best years of his life if not the remainder are still ruined being labeled as a violent felon when he gets out and will also impact anyone he associates with. If anything, he’s more likely to be a repeat offender and end up back in the system now. I mean- what do people want?
I wondered if it would be felony. I was hoping the smaller sentence would be good but it will be hard to start over when he gets out. And it seemed like he JUST started truck driving. With this liability I don’t think he’d be able to get picked up by another trucking company. He could start his own though.
 

luckiestdestiny

Well-Known Member
The best years of his life if not the remainder are still ruined being labeled as a violent felon when he gets out and will also impact anyone he associates with. If anything, he’s more likely to be a repeat offender and end up back in the system now. I mean- what do people want?
I personally think the sentence should be suspended and he does community service, but I didn't realize he lied on the stand as @Crackers Phinn mentioned. Still, I think this whole thing is unfortunate. I am relieved though that he did not get 110 years. So I guess settling for parole in 5 sounds better.

But in reality, it's still not ideal. No one knows what they would do in a dangerous situation like that when they freak out and their life is on the line.
 
Last edited:

Ganjababy

Well-Known Member
The best years of his life if not the remainder are still ruined being labeled as a violent felon when he gets out and will also impact anyone he associates with. If anything, he’s more likely to be a repeat offender and end up back in the system now. I mean- what do people want?
I am optimistic and I think he will be so grateful that he he do good upon his release.
 
Top