Truck driver Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos has been charged with vehicular manslaughter for causing a fatal crash while barreling down a steep grade along Interstate 70 in Colorado at speeds exceeding 80 m.p.h., according to a Denver-Post report.
Aguilera-Mederos lost control of his truck while traveling on a steep stretch of I-70 in the Rocky Mountains. He told prosecutors that his brakes failed, resulting in a 28-car pileup that killed four people and injured six more.
While it is not believed that the crash was intentional, prosecutors still decided to charge Aguilera-Mederos with vehicular manslaughter - a charge usually levied against drivers who were under the influence. They argue that he showed extreme indifference, driving recklessly and without regard for others' lives.
A particularly damning video of Aguilera-Mederos’ truck moments before the accident shows the truck swerving down the highway at speeds in excess of 80 m.p.h., passing by a runaway ramp that could have prevented the tragedy.
When combined with other charges against Aguilera-Mederos could be facing decades in prison.
Aguilera-Mederos’ lawyer said that the charges are an example of prosecutorial overreach and maintains that the accident was the result of a mechanical malfunction.