Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos (pictured), 23, on Friday was charged with 40 criminal counts for allegedly causing a massive pileup in Colorado that killed four
A Texas truck driver accused of causing a 28-car chain-reaction crash near Denver last week that killed four people and injured four others was charged on Friday with 40 criminal counts including vehicular homicide.
Police in Lakewood, Colorado, said they arrested Cuban national Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, after he lost control of his tractor-trailer truck during the evening rush hour on April 25 and caused a pileup on Interstate 70 that involved at least 28 vehicles.
The district attorney for Jefferson County, where the crash took place, charged Aguilera-Mederos with 40 count, including four counts of vehicular homicide, six of first degree assault and 24 of attempted first-degree assault.
Aguilera-Mederos is being held in jail on a $400,000 bond. He is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on July 11.
The tractor-trailer, which was carrying lumber, rammed into several cars, causing the multi-vehicle crash that became a raging inferno, authorities said. The four men who died were all single occupants in their vehicles, according to a local TV station.
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Two of the four deceased victims were identified as Stanley Politano, 69 (left) and Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24 (right)
The 23-year-old man has been in custody of the Lakewood police in Jefferson County since last Thursday, when he was arrested on four counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault following a highway accident that involved 28 cars (pictured)
They were identified on Sunday as Doyle Harrison, 61; William Bailey, 67; Miguel Angel Lamas Arrellano, 24, and Stanley Politano, 69.
Politano’s family says he was the executive vice president for casino development company Jacobs Entertainment.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Cathi, their two grown sons and two grandchildren.
Aguilera-Mederos faces the following 40 counts:Six counts of first-degree assault 24 counts of attempted first-degree assault Four counts of vehicular homicide by reckless driving Two counts of vehicular assault by reckless driving One count of reckless driving Two counts of violent crime causing death or serious bodily injury One count of violent crime using a weapon
Arrellano is survived by his mother and brother, who recognized his sibling's charred car in the pileup, reported 9News.
The 24-year-old's family and friends described him as a happy and humble person.
A GoFundMe page started by a friend to help Arrellano's family with his funeral expenses has raised more than $12,250 by Friday evening.
'The carnage was significant,' police spokesman Ty Countryman said at the time. 'Just unbelievable.'
There was no initial indication that Aguilera-Mederos intentionally caused the crash, or that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Countryman said.
Aguilera-Mederos told police his brakes had failed, but cell phone video from a witness showed his truck veering across several lanes of traffic and forcing another vehicle off the road before the crash, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Rob Corry, a lawyer for Aguilera-Mederos, said last week that the crash was an accident caused by equipment malfunction.
'This is a massive unprecedented overreach by the prosecution ... on a vehicle accident,' Corry told reporters on Friday.