Colorado governor shortens trucker’s prison term to 10 years

People hold signs in support of truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos
Demonstrators gather outside the Colorado Capitol on Wednesday in support of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a truck driver whose original 110-year sentence drew outrage.
(Helen H. Richardson / Associated Press)

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has shortened the prison sentence of a truck driver convicted in a deadly crash to 10 years, drastically reducing his original 110-year term that drew widespread outrage.

The decision Thursday on Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence was among several end-of-the-year commutations and pardons issued by Polis.

The move comes days after a judge scheduled a hearing for next month to reconsider the sentence at the request of the district attorney, who had planned to ask that it be reduced to 20 to 30 years.


Around 5 million people signed an online petition seeking clemency for Aguilera-Mederos.

Judge Bruce Jones imposed the 110-year sentence on Dec. 13 after finding it was the mandatory minimum term set forth under state law, noting it would not have been his choice.

The explosive 2019 crash killed four people.

Aguilera-Mederos testified that he was hauling lumber when the brakes on his semitrailer failed as he was descending a steep grade of Interstate 70 in the Rocky Mountain foothills.

His truck plowed into vehicles that had slowed because of another wreck, setting off a chain-reaction wreck and a fireball that consumed vehicles and melted parts of the highway.