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Semi driver faces charges of vehicular homicide; EB I-70 reopens

Posted at 8:45 AM, Apr 26, 2019

LIVE: Briefing on I-70 crash

LIVE: Officials are giving an update on the fiery crash that caused significant damage to eastbound lanes of I-70. Updates: https://bit.ly/2IWHnLC

Posted by KOAA 5 on Friday, April 26, 2019

LAKEWOOD – Lakewood police have identified the driver of a semi truck who is suspected of causing a fiery crash on I-70 Thursday that left four people dead. As of 2 p.m. Friday, the stretch of I-70 impacted has reopened to all traffic.

Police identified the man as 23-year-old Rogel Lozaro Aguilera-Mederos. He suffered minor injuries in the crash and was being booked into the Jefferson County jail Friday morning. Police said he was a licensed CDL driver from Texas.

Police said he is facing multiple vehicular homicide charges, and he could face even more depending on the outcome of the investigation. Police are still searching for additional victims, but at least four people died in the crash. No other information has been released about those killed. Six people were taken to the hospital for injuries.

The chain-reaction crash happened during rush hour around 5 p.m. Thursday. Lakewood police now say a total of 24 vehicles and four semi trucks were involved in the crash, up significantly from earlier totals of 12 vehicles and three semis.

Lakewood Police representative Ty Countryman said the Jefferson County Coroner is working identify the victims. He said it’s not known if any of the victims were children, but he said all victims were single occupants in their vehicles.

Countryman also said officers are reviewing video from drivers and are working to confirm details about the crash.

He said the driver is cooperating with the investigation. He said investigators are working to determine where Aguilera-Mederos was headed and when he entered onto I-70.

Rogel Lozaro Aguilera-Mederos
Photo of Rogel Lozaro Aguilera-Mederos (Lakewood Police)

In a Friday morning briefing, a CDOT engineer said preliminary evaluations of the Denver West Boulevard bridge showed it was in good shape. However, engineers will have to perform a full bridge inspection after the scene is cleared. A previous update from Lakewood police said the bridge sustained significant damage, but that has since been corrected.

The engineer said he had “major concerns” about the pavement in the area where the fire burned. Crews spent the morning milling and replacing all of the pavement in the area as soon as the wreckage was cleared.