Brother of man killed in fiery Colorado truck crash calls Governor Jared Polis ‘despicable’ for making ‘politically motivated’ decision to reduce driver’s sentence from 110 years to 10

The brother of one of the victims in the 2019 crash that killed four in Colorado and resulted in the driver being convicted of vehicular homicide accused Gov. Jared Polis of being politically motivated when he reduced the sentence by 100 years.

Duane Bailey’s brother Bill Bailey was one of the victims in the April 2019 crash. Bailey said Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the defendant, misrepresented his experience on his job application and “exaggerated job titles,” according to the Denver Channel. 

“He’s testified he’s panicked. Who wouldn’t be? But, he put himself in that position. It wasn’t an accident,” he said.

He said that Aguilera-Mederos lied about his experience in his job application and ‘exaggerated job titles.’

‘He drove his car so hard, by time he got to Berthoud Pass, 30 miles from the crash site, his brakes were already smoking… Yet, he still drives above the speed limit. There’s people on I-70 who talk about how they passed him at a high-rate of speed,’ Bailey told ABC.

‘He’s testified he’s panicked. Who wouldn’t be? But, he put himself in that position. It wasn’t an accident.’ 

Bailey said that the victims’ families had agreed that the 110-year sentence was severe – but that reducing it to ten was too lenient.

‘It’s turned the point where people think he’s the victim now, and it’s not. He’s not the victim. This crash killed four people and four good people,’ Bailey said.

Aguilera-Mederos had claimed the brakes in his truck had failed and he lost control, but prosecutors argued in court that he could have taken steps to prevent the crash, including using a runaway truck ramp miles before the crash near the Denver West Colorado Mills Parkway, and said he made a ‘bunch of bad decisions’ instead.

But in October, a jury found him guilty  of 27 criminal charges, including:

  • Four counts of vehicular homicide
  • Two counts of vehicular assault
  • Six counts of assault in the first-degree with extreme indifference
  • 10 counts of criminal attempt to commit assault in the first degree
  • One count of reckless driving
  • Four counts of careless driving causing death

He was also found not guilty of 15 counts of criminal attempts to commit assaults in the first degree.

Before his sentencing last month, Aguilera-Mederos pleaded with the judge to be lenient on him, breaking down in tears as he spoke.


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