Truck driver accused in deadly I-70 crash pleads not guilty; trial set for May

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- The truck driver accused of killing four people and seriously injuring several others in a fiery crash on Interstate 70 in Lakewood in April pleaded not guilty in a Jefferson County court on Thursday.

A trial for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, 24, will begin May 1. The Texas truck driver is facing 41 charges in connection with the April 25 crash, including for four counts of vehicular homicide as well as assault and attempted assault.

Aguilera-Mederos' attorney, Rob Corry, requested a 30-day continuance on Thursday, but prosecutors argued there has been plenty of time.

Jefferson County District Court Judge Christopher Zensek agreed and denied the request.

Corry also filed a motion seeking the right to speak to the media again. On Sept. 13, a judge asked both sides to limit pre-trial media attention.

Corry also told the court that he will file a motion soon that seeks the removal of the First Judicial District Attorney's Office from the case.

Corry hinted in court that he's upset that prosecutors have not offered a plea deal to Aguilera-Mederos.

Four people were killed in the crash that involved 24 vehicles and four semitrucks on April 25.

Prosecutors said Aguilera-Mederos drove recklessly eastbound on Interstate 70 when he plowed his truck into vehicles backed up because of another crash on the highway.

The Lakewood Police Department said Aguilera-Mederos, who was hauling lumber as he drove for Houston-based Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, hit speeds of at least 85 mph. Commercial vehicles are limited to 45 mph in the zone.

Aguilera-Mederos claims the brakes on the truck failed as he was coming out of the foothills.

The crash caused a huge fireball and closed the interstate for several days.

Prosecutors said Aguilera-Mederos tried to leave the scene and showed “extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

Killed were Doyle Harrison, 61, of Hudson, William Bailey, 67, of Arvada, Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24, of Denver, and Stanley Politano, 69, of Arvada. The crash left 10 others injured.

Aguilera-Mederos will also stand trial on six counts of first-degree assault and 24 counts of attempted first-degree assault.

He is free on a $400,000 bond. The judge is allowing him to live out of state as the case moves forward.

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