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Truck driver in I-25 crash that killed 5 was driving with canceled license, CSP says

The Colorado State Patrol said he was operating the truck illegally at the time of the crash.

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — The driver of a truck that crashed into cars on Interstate 25 in Weld County last month, killing five people, was driving with a canceled commercial driver license.

The Colorado State Patrol said he was operating the truck illegally when he crashed on June 13, killing a family from Wyoming.

A federal report written after the crash shows the driver also didn't have a valid medical certificate, a requirement to operate a truck. 

Colorado State Patrol won't say why his license was canceled, though not having a medical certificate is one possibility. 

The federal report says the brakes on the truck were "out of adjustment" and it was not equipped with an antilock brake system. A separate crash report written by CSP indicates that the brakes may have been "defective."

RELATED: Truck that crashed into car, killing 5, may have had defective brakes, CSP report says

"The driver and the truck were both illegal to be on the road at the time of this crash," said Michael Leizerman, cofounder of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. "Once more than 20% of the brakes are found to be in violation, that’s out of service. That’s what I saw here. The inspector said that more than 20% of the brakes were in violation."

9NEWS has learned the same truck was stopped in Platteville, Colorado in March. A different driver working for the same company also was driving without a commercial driver license and a valid medical certificate.

The company, Caminante Trucking, is based in Long Beach, California, and has more than 90 trucks in its fleet. Federal documents show another one of its trucks was involved in a fatal crash in Temecula, California in April of last year. One person was killed.  

The company did not respond to 9NEWS' requests for comment via text and phone.

"As a lawyer, I would want to start to look at not if there is a systemic failure, but if this is being done willfully," Leizerman said.

9NEWS is choosing not to share the driver’s name because he is not currently facing any charges in relation to the crash. The Weld County District Attorney's Office said it has not yet been given the information about the case from investigators at CSP.

The crash report written by CSP troopers who responded to the scene indicates that the driver may have been "distracted" and was driving "carelessly." It states he made no effort to avoid the cars in front of him, either by braking or steering away from them.

The driver was traveling 75 miles per hour on northbound I-25 when traffic stopped ahead of him, according to the crash report obtained by 9NEWS from CSP. The truck slammed into a car that was going 5 miles an hour in heavy traffic, killing all five people inside.

The five victims were traveling through Colorado on their way home to Wyoming. Aaron Godines and Hailie Everts were killed, along with their baby daughter. Aaron’s parents Christina and Emiliano were also in the car and died.

RELATED: Witnesses sought after 6 killed in 2 crashes on I-25 in Weld County


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