A petition to grant clemency to the driver of an 18-wheeler sentenced to 110 years in prison for causing a huge crash that killed four on a Colorado interstate has garnered 1.65 million signatures on Change.org.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 26, was driving a semi on April 25, 2019 down Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado, when he crashed into two dozen vehicles – including four other semi-trucks stuck in rush-hour traffic. The impact caused a fireball explosion that incinerated cars and trucks, and killed four people.
More than two years later, on Monday, Aguilera-Mederos, of Texas, was sentenced to 110 consecutive years in prison by county court Judge A. Bruce Jones, who said his hands were tied due to mandatory minimum laws in the state.
He sentenced Aguilera-Mederos to the minimum in the range available to him on all 27 criminal counts, the Denver Channel reported.
‘Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, has nothing on his driving record, or on his criminal history,’ the Change.org petition for Aguilera-Mederos’ clemency, which was addressed to Colorado Governor Jared Polis and Jefferson County courts, reads.
The governor is the only person who can grant clemency at the state level. Polis most recently commuted four sentences and issued 18 pardons in December 2020. Clemency usually results in a sentence reduction or a pardon.
‘He had complied with every single request by the Jefferson County courts, and investigators on the case.’
Petition Started By Heather Gilbee Below
‘He’s passed all of the drug and alcohol tests that were given including a chemical test.’
‘This accident was not intentional, nor was it a criminal act on the drivers part. No one but the trucking company he is/was employed by should be held accountable for this accident.’
‘We are trying to hold the person who needs to be held responsible, responsible. The trucking company has had several inspections since 2017, with several mechanical violations.’
The petition goes on to say that Rogel could have ‘done things differently to avoid the courts,’ but ultimately commended him for taking responsibility and apologizing to the victim’s families.
‘Some of the families even offered forgiveness,’ the petition continues.
‘Rogel is not a criminal.’
It will become one of the website’s top signed petitions after it reaches 3 million signatures, according to the Change.org page.
One of website’s petitions successfully forced AT&T, Ernst & Young, Intel, and UPS to cease donating to the Boy Scouts after the organization came under heavy scrutiny for its controversial exclusionary policy against gay scouts and leaders this year.