The four people who were killed in Thursday's fiery crash on Interstate 70 were identified Sunday by the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. The victims are:
- 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
"The exact causes of deaths are pending further studies expected in the coming weeks but autopsies have been completed," Chief Deputy Coroner Daniel Pruett said in a news release.
Politano’s wife, Cathi, told 9NEWS that her husband was the Executive Vice President for casino development company Jacobs Entertainment. He was also a graduate of Wheat Ridge High School.
9NEWS is working to learn more about each of the victims. Lakewood police said all four were in separate cars and alone when a semi-truck carrying lumber crashed into them on Thursday afternoon.
Ten other people were treated for injuries in the crash that involved 24 passenger vehicles and four semi-trucks. According to an arrest affidavit, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, of Houston, Texas, told investigators that the brakes on his semi failed just before the accident.
Aguilera-Mederos appeared before a judge Saturday morning for his first advisement where his bond was set at $400,000. He was initially taken into custody on four counts of vehicular homicide, according to Lakewood PD. Charges have not yet been filed.
The arrest report says Aguilera-Mederos noticed his speedometer showed 85 mph shortly before the crash. He told investigators he had to get over onto the shoulder to avoid stopped traffic, but when he tried to, he noticed another semi-truck already there.
According to the arrest report, because of the semi on the shoulder, Aguilera-Mederos told law enforcement he decided to swerve back toward traffic. He said he thought he was going to die so he "closed his eyes before hitting the stopped traffic," the affidavit says.
Monday morning, Lakewood police confirmed that Aguilera-Mederos was driving for Castellano 03 Trucking. Online inspection reports from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reveal 30 violations connected to the trucking company since late 2017.
At least 10 violations include issues like “brake tubing and hose adequacy” and “clamp or Roto type brake out-of-adjustment," the reports say.
Both lanes of I-70 were closed for over 20 hours near the 20th Avenue/Denver West Parkway interchange after the wreck as a Colorado Department of Transportation crew removed some damaged asphalt and repaved the highway.
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