Petition to free Rogel Aguilera-Mederos signed by millions in push to clear truck driver's name after deadly accident
A PETITION has been signed by millions to free or lower the sentence of a truck driver who pled guilty of causing a fiery 28-car pileup on a Colorado highway.
Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a 26-year-old truck driver who was found guilty in October for dangerously driving a vehicle that led to four deaths, was sentenced to 110 years in prison – but some believe that's too high.
The Change.org petition has so far been signed by over 4.5 million people asking for Aguilera-Mederos' sentence to be lowered, commuted for time served, or for clemency to be granted.
According to the website, it became the top signed petition in the site's history, and that occurred thanks in part to an organized effort by truck drivers.
Truckers all over the country are threatening to stop moving goods to and from Colorado because of the sentence, and are gaining traction using such social media hashtags as #NoTrucksColorado and #DontDriveColorado.
Aguilera-Mederos' was driving a semi tractor-trailer at 85 mph when his brakes failed, he told investigators in April 2019.
He tried to pull over to the shoulder to avoid stopped traffic on the highway, but another semi had already pulled over, his arrest affidavit said.
Aguilera-Mederos' truck results in a 28-car pileup that left four people dead on the Colorado highway.
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The 26-year-old was found guilty in October and was convicted on vehicular homicide and 23 other charges, and was sentenced last week.
The 23 other charges included six counts of assault in the first degree, under extreme indifference, and 10 counts of attempt to commit assault in the first degree, again under extreme indifference.
He also had two counts of reckless vehicular assault, one count of reckless driving, and four counts of careless driving causing death.
Experts said because Colorado did away with its death penalty, life in prison is the harshest punishment allowed.
The petition, titled "Offer commutation as time served, or grant clemency to Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23," was created by a woman who claims to have no relations to him but was just a supporter.
"I made this petition because I am a native to Colorado, who believes this man is NOT a criminal and this was purely an accident," she wrote on Dec. 15. "I'm not related to Rogel, or any of his family, I simply believe that he doesn't deserve his sentence or these charges."
The petition goes on to say, "Rogel has said several times that he wishes he had the courage to crash and take his own life that day, this tragic accident wasn't done with Intent, it wasn't a criminal act, it was an accident."
A spokesperson for Colorado Governor Jared Polis told ABC7, "We welcome an application" from the defense "and will expedite consideration.
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