A truck driver by the name of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos received a sentence of 110 years in prison due to a fatal 2019 accident. It happened as Aguilera-Mederos descended the mountainous area west of Denver into the city. The brakes on his truck failed and since he was going downhill, he quickly picked up speed without acceleration. The sheer size and load of his truck (cut lumber) made the acceleration process quicker and much more dangerous due to momentum. He eventually crashed and caused a pileup that shut the interstate down in both directions for a full 24 hours. Four people lost their lives as a result of the accident.
Aguilera-Mederos called his trucking company while the truck was descending the mountain and out of control. His question was an obvious one – how to stop a speeding truck without brakes. The company advised him to take the runaway truck ramp. This is a feature on steep grades of interstate mountain driving across the United States. They are usually carved into the side of a mountain with the purpose of allowing the driver to take and go uphill rather than the downward slope of the road. This causes the vehicle to stop by interrupting momentum. Aguilera-Mederos apparently missed three of these ramps during his descent. The obvious question would be if he even knows what a runaway ramp is, being Cuban trained in mostly-flat texas.
Aguilera-Mederoes is a legal resident and he held a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) at the time of the crash. He does not have an arrest record in Cuba or the United States. A drug test was performed immediately after the crash and it came back clean. This appears to be nothing more than an accident that was unfortunately fatal. The only thing that may be an issue here is that he admitted to speeding. But it is not quite clear if the speeding happened as a result of the brakes failing or if he was speeding before brake failure. This case appears to be simply an unfortunate break for a truck driver that could possibly happen to anyone. Especially a 23-year-old relative rookie to the business.
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