mayo 22, 2022

Cuban Trucker Sentenced to 110 years in Prison

Cuban Trucker Sentenced to 110 years in Prison Condenan a 110 años de prisión a camionero cubano

DUE TO AN ACCIDENT ON THE I-70

Newsroom El Comercio de Colorado

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Young Cuban truck driver Rogel Aguilera Mederos received a 110-year prison sentence for causing a highway accident west of Denver. In this accident in April of 2019, four people were burned to death and dozens of other drivers were injured. Aguilera is 25 years old and was born in Surgidero de Batabano, Cuba.

In October 2021, a jury found Aguilera guilty of 27 counts. The charges consisted of four vehicular manslaughters for the deaths of Doyle Harrison, William Bailey, Miguel Ángel Lamas Arellano, and Stanley Politano. The deaths occurred when Aguilera, while driving on Interstate 70, lost control of the truck in which he was transporting wood.

Vehicle without Brakes

Due to a previous accident, traffic on Interstate 70 was slow. The truck driven by Aguilera was coming down the mountains without brakes at almost 140 kilometers per hour. Upon encountering the parked vehicles, the truck collided with at least 12 of them. The impact caused a fire that melted the pavement of the highway.

As a result, Aguilera was also convicted of indifference to human life, physical and attempted physical assault, and careless driving. Gage Evans, widow of William Bailey, declared that the death of her husband was “devastating.”

Wife of a Victim

Evans blamed Aguilera for agreeing to drive his vehicle “on a route of which he was unfamiliar.” Her statement refers to the difficult descent from the Rocky Mountains to Denver, which due to its decline, frequently causes overheating in the brakes of freight trucks.

Evans announced that she and other relatives of the victims are now part of a group that seeks to increase the safety of trucks traveling in the United States. Aguilera insisted that it was not his inexperience, but rather a mechanical failure in the brakes, which prevented him from avoiding the accident.

Testimony of the Condemned

According to the prosecution, the young driver should have used one of the several emergency ramps along the road to stop the truck. Before being sentenced, Aguilera spoke in English and appeared contrite, declaring that his life “has been very difficult, depressing, and horrible” since the accident, emphasizing that he never thought of hurting anyone.