On April 25th, 2019, a semi-truck being driven by 23-year-old Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos came barreling down I-70 at speeds that investigators have since determined exceeded 85-MPH. Just past the Colfax exit on the eastbound side of the highway – in a zone marked 45-MPH – Aguilera-Mederos’s semi-truck slammed into stopped traffic, resulting in a pile-up involving 24 cars and four semis. Several were injured. Four lives were lost.
According to his arrest affidavit, Mr. Aguilera-Mederos reported that his brakes failed just before the crash. Sadly, a mechanical inspection to confirm this will not be available. The cab was destroyed by fire after impact. However, 9News reports that Castellano 03 Trucking LLC, the company for whom Mr. Aguilera-Mederos was driving, has a history of safety violations – 10 of which involve brake failure.
LTCCS: Speeding and Brake Failure
Both speeding and brake failure have been identified as two of the Top 10 “Causative” Factors for accidents involving semi-trucks through the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. According to this study, conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, factors linked to speed include:
- Pressure to decrease delivery time
- Driving experience
- Unfamiliarity with the roadway
- Interruption of traffic flow
At least one of these may have played a role in the fatal truck accident caused by Mr. Aguilera-Mederos on April 25th.
When things like pressure from a trucking company to reduce delivery time factor into a truck accident, liability may be shared by the driver and the company he was driving for. When issues like brake failure are added, liability may also be shared by parties including the driver, the company he or she drives for, parts manufacturers, and even mechanics.
Prosecutors in this case are seeking a vehicular homicide conviction due to, among other things, video obtained from other drivers and Mr. Aguilera-Mederos’s own affidavit. However, a criminal conviction is not the same as a civil trial seeking damages for victims. For the latter to be successful, all parties who may have played a role must be identified, held accountable, and proven negligent.
Understanding Your Rights After a Truck Accident
When you are injured in a truck accident, it is important that a thorough investigation be conducted, on your behalf specifically, by a qualified truck accident lawyer. This investigation will determine if factors beyond the driver’s control, such as mechanical failure or an unrealistic schedule, played a role in the accident. When these factors are present, it is important that all parties are held to account in order to help ensure proper compensation.
If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident involving a semi-truck, we are here to listen to your story, assess your claim, and help you understand your options. In and around Metro Denver, please call Leventhal Sar LLC at 720-667-3030 to schedule a complimentary consultation and learn more.
Located in the Cherry Creek area, Leventhal Sar LLC welcomes clients from all surrounding Colorado communities, including those along the I-25 and I-70 corridors.