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Trial to move forward for suspect in fiery I-70 crash

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos was in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing. He's accused of causing the deadly April 25 crash on I-70 that involved 28 vehicles.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colorado — A judge has found probable cause to move forward with a trial for the case against the truck driver accused of causing a fiery 28-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 that killed four people to go to trial.

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos posted bond nearly two months ago and appeared in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing in Jefferson County.

During the hearing, the judge granted a motion to allow Aguilera-Mederos to travel and reside outside of Colorado. 

“We've got a couple motions that are going to be litigated today,” Aguilera-Mederos' attorney Robert Corry said ahead of the hearing. “I think first and foremost, my client has requested to live in Houston while this case is pending, so hopefully the court will consider that and rule in our favor. And then, secondly, this case is a preliminary hearing, so we are going to be attempting to get some of those charges dismissed today.”

Family members of several victims had opposed that motion.

The Houston, Texas man is facing 41 charges in connection with the April 25 crash in Lakewood, including charges for vehicular homicide, assault and attempted assault.

According to Lakewood Police, Aguilera-Mederos was at the wheel of a tractor-trailer rig hauling lumber when it barreled into a traffic backup at speeds estimated as high as 100 mph. He said his brakes went out while coming down I-70 from the mountains. Prosecutors said they have no way to prove that because his semi was destroyed in the crash.

"The brakes failed; I think that's clear to everybody, and nobody disagrees with that," Corry said. 

Aguilera-Mederos faces decades in the Department of Corrections (DOC) as a result of the charges, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office said.

The crash killed four men:

  • Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson, Colorado
  • William Bailey, 67, of Arvada, Colorado
  • Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24, of Denver, Colorado
  • Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada, Colorado

Ten other people were hurt; two of them had serious injuries.

At the time of the crash, Aguilera-Mederos was working for Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, based in Houston. The trucking company has a documented history of safety issues, including prior issues relating to brakes. 

In May, a judge ruled that Aguilera-Mederos would not have to wear a GPS monitoring device as a condition of his bond. He is, however, required to stay in Colorado and is not allowed to drive a commercial vehicle. 

Attorney Corry was arrested just last week after several witnesses reported that he was waving a sword around and threatening people, a probable cause statement from Denver police says. 

RELATED: Attorney Robert Corry arrested again after police say he was waving a sword and threatening people

That was Corry's second arrest in a month. He was arrested in June after an incident at Denver International Airport where he reportedly said he was being chased by "Arabs" and that they had a helicopter, according to an arrest affidavit.


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