I-70 semitruck driver trial: Driver involved in fiery crash risked life to save pet

Local News

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The driver of a mattress truck that was hit by multiple cars in a fiery explosion was not going to leave his pet Chihuahua behind. 

Douglas Rowe said his 18-wheeler’s tires were smoking, so he safely and legally pulled off Interstate 70 in April 2019 to make sure he could keep moving. 

He said as he was making his way back onto the highway, another 18-wheeler crashed into stalled traffic causing a deadly fiery explosion.  

Rowe testified Monday in the trial of Rogel Aguilera Mederos who was driving an 18-wheeler that caused the fiery crash. He is charged with four counts of vehicular homicide.  

“I heard an explosion and looked in my driver’s side mirror and saw fire and everything coming at me. I saw metal on my side. It was cars piled up on my side,” Rowe said.  

Rowe had two dogs and he was able to escape. But one of his pets went back in the rig. He went back to save his beloved dog.  

At the same time, he saw a severely injured woman in the crash as he was rushed off in an ambulance.  

“I broke down in the hospital not knowing where my dogs were and not knowing the condition of the lady,” Rowe said.

Other witnesses told the court Aguilera Mederos had made many edits to his driving logs that were highly unusual.  

Those logs are required by federal law and track things like speed and the amount of time a driver spends behind the wheel. 

The trial at the Jefferson County courthouse in Golden is expected to last at least another week.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Read

Top Stories