Hike sentence

Truck driver’s 110-year prison sentence drastically reduced

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a truck driver sentenced to 110 years in prison for causing a violent accident on I-70, appears in court. (Photo: KDVR)

DENVER (KDVR) — The truck driver sentenced to 110 years in prison for his role in a fatal crash that killed four people on Interstate 70 in Colorado has been granted clemency by the governor.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos asked for clemency from Governor Jared Polis, who reduced his sentence to 10 years. He will be eligible for parole on December 30, 2026.

“The crimes you have been convicted of are serious. Four people lost their lives and others were seriously injured because of your wrong decisions,” Polis wrote in his clemency letter. “The families of these victims will never again have the chance to embrace their departed loved ones. This was a tragic event that affected many coloradans. Although your actions have caused immense pain, I am encouraged by your personal reflection and the changes made to commercial vehicle safety in the wake of this tragedy to ensure this type of event never happens again.

Aguilera-Mederos claimed during the trial that his brakes failed as he traveled east on I-70 toward town, eventually crashing into more than two dozen stopped vehicles. A jury in October found him guilty of 27 counts in the crash, including four counts of driving homicide.

The 110-year sentence handed down on December 13 was due to Colorado’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws that apply to crimes of violence – or any crime resulting in death or injury. The lengthy sentence sparked an international outcry and an online petition campaign that reached over 5 million signatures.

The First Judicial District Attorney’s Office had also requested a hearing to reconsider the sentence, but prosecutors were asking for 20 to 30 years. A hearing date has been set for January 13, but the status of that hearing is unclear.

Read the full clemency letter here.