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Colorado prosecutor showed off brake-shoe gift after helping convict 26-year-old trucker sentenced to 110 years for deadly crash

Derec

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Don't you find it a bit fascinating that someone can argue that this Hispanic driver deserves a 110 year sentence for making a deadly split second mistake,
- His racial and ethnic origin should be irrelevant. Unfortunately his supporters are making a lot out of him being from a Spanish-speaking country.
- It was the very opposite of a split-second decision! He had plenty of time to act. Driving the 2000' between the sign announcing the off-ramp and the off-ramp itself is about 20 seconds driving at 60 mph. And that was only a part of the entire descent to the scene of the accident.

Did you even watch the video or read about the case?

but that a white police officer who also makes a deadly split second mistake deserves no conviction or sentence?
She does not deserve a 1st degree manslaughter conviction or the level of vilification she has received in the media.
Unlike the comparatively luxurious amount of time RAM had to ponder what to do and actually do it (like taking a gentle right onto the off-ramp) Potter really did have to make a split-second decision when St. Daunte decided to rabbit.
 

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I’m just saying that it easy to see what someone else should have done. It’s harder in that moment.
Perhaps. He was still a professional truck driver who should have known to do things like take the off-ramp.

No one was in the cab with him. I don’t believe that there was any evidence that he was distracted by his phone, or under the influence of any substance or sleep deprived.
I have seen reports that there was no drugs or alcohol. But I have not seen anything that indicates one way or another about distractions or sleep deprivation.

He made a terrible error. It cost people lives and grace injuries. He does deserve to pay for such a terrible error but 110 years is excessive.
I think everybody here agrees that 110 is excessive. However, "time served" as demanded by his supporters is way too short.
 

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At his age, he could not have been a very experienced rig driver. And who knows how one will behave in an emergency.
No matter how inexperienced, he acted completely recklessly. Even the people behind him on the road knew he should have taken that off-ramp. So what's his excuse?
He may not have seen the runoff in time or may not have thought he could effect the maneuver. Or he may have simply panicked.
There was a big-ass sign saying "runaway truck ramp 2000 ft". He had plenty of time to react. Also, there is no indication that the maneuver to gently veer right onto the ramp could not be effected. Have you even watched the video? Instead of going right, he swerves left across lanes, almost collecting a white pickup truck in the process.

Maybe you’ve never made a driving error. I have and I’m grateful no one was hurt.
I am not a professional driver, but no. Nothing like this. And I always downshift on long grades.

His swerve to the left shows that he knows he's in trouble--that's the sort of move you pull when you know you're in danger of losing it in the turn.
 

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Don't you find it a bit fascinating that someone can argue that this Hispanic driver deserves a 110 year sentence for making a deadly split second mistake, but that a white police officer who also makes a deadly split second mistake deserves no conviction or sentence?
This is not a split-second mistake.
 

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Don't you find it a bit fascinating that someone can argue that this Hispanic driver deserves a 110 year sentence for making a deadly split second mistake, but that a white police officer who also makes a deadly split second mistake deserves no conviction or sentence?
This is not a split-second mistake.
If it were a split second mistake, like the cops who shot Wright and Adam Toledo, I would have a different opinion about proper sentencing.
But it wasn't.

This deserves real jail time. He had time to really make choices. He had options he chose against. 110 years is ridiculous, but 10(out in 5 for good behavior), seems reasonable.

But, also, he apparently was offered a plea deal and turned it down. Another really bad choice on his part.

He's far more responsible for the outcome, overall, than the cops.
Tom
 

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If it were a split second mistake, like the cops who shot Wright and Adam Toledo,
Adam Toledo wasn't even a mistake, except on part of Adam and the adult who gave him the gun.
Totally with ya.

The cop that shot Toledo had .8 seconds to decide why Toledo was raising the gun he'd been shooting with shortly before.

The adult is Ruben Roman, an adult who was out at 2am with a child shooting. He was bailed out the next day because a group of "concerned black citizens" didn't want his involvement to become news. They wanted to keep the focus on the cop.

Not change the subject to young black males corrupting young black males. Keep the media focused on the wypepo. Otherwise, the narrative might shift off of black victimhood.

We can't have that.

Tom
 

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Don't you find it a bit fascinating that someone can argue that this Hispanic driver deserves a 110 year sentence for making a deadly split second mistake,
- His racial and ethnic origin should be irrelevant. Unfortunately his supporters are making a lot out of him being from a Spanish-speaking country.
- It was the very opposite of a split-second decision! He had plenty of time to act. Driving the 2000' between the sign announcing the off-ramp and the off-ramp itself is about 20 seconds driving at 60 mph. And that was only a part of the entire descent to the scene of the accident.

Did you even watch the video or read about the case?

but that a white police officer who also makes a deadly split second mistake deserves no conviction or sentence?
She does not deserve a 1st degree manslaughter conviction or the level of vilification she has received in the media.
Unlike the comparatively luxurious amount of time RAM had to ponder what to do and actually do it (like taking a gentle right onto the off-ramp) Potter really did have to make a split-second decision when St. Daunte decided to rabbit.
I think replacing “ fascinating” by “ predictable and disappointing “ improves the observation.
 

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After a 26-year-old truck driver received a 110-year prison sentence for his role in a deadly crash, a Colorado prosecutor who helped convict him drew outrage for showing off a brake shoe she was gifted on social media.

Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, a 26-year-old truck driver who said his brakes failed during a 2019 crash that killed four people, was convicted on 27 counts in October. At Aguilera-Mederos' December 13 sentencing, Jefferson County District Judge A. Bruce Jones said state law required the sentences be served consecutively, leading to a 110-year prison term.

Kayla Wildeman, a Jefferson County deputy district attorney, was part of a team of prosecutors that helped convict Aguilera-Mederos. She posted a photo of a brake shoe from a semitrailer and an accompanying plaque on Facebook, according to KUSA, although it's unclear when she posted the photo. Wildeman's social-media pages have since been deactivated.

Wildeman said in her Facebook post that she received the brake shoe as a gift from Jared Maritsky, a fellow deputy district attorney, according to KUSA.
"To make any kind of mockery or behave as if this was a ball game of winning and losing is an outrage," Leonard Martinez, Aguilera-Mederos' attorney, said, as quoted by KMGH. "This was about four people losing their lives and another person facing the prospect of a 110-year prison sentence."

More than 3.7 million people have signed a petition asking Colorado Gov. Jared Polis to commute the sentence or grant Aguilera-Mederos clemency. A spokesperson for Polis previously told Insider's Connor Perrett that, "We are aware of this issue, the Governor and his team review each clemency application individually."
This is a part of the governor's legitimate powers, but it must ultimately be the governor's decision whether or not they think that doing so will insure better behavior from prosecutors in the future. I do not envy governors their positions. These are not easy decisions.

Truckers do not have easy jobs, and I do not envy them their occupations. They are paid inadequately for their labors. Two of them that I know grumble frequently about the negative consequences of deregulation in the 1980's, which really had negative consequences for them. However, the truth is that they are responsible for operating extremely large machines, and I would not want the laws themselves much less severe. Neither would they because they have to share the road with other truckers. If the boy cannot get help from the governor, he does have a right to appeal his case if he thinks he was treated unfairly.

As for the prosecutor, I would warn them that making enemies is not a very good practice for prosecutors. Former Governor of North Carolina Mike Easley made enemies as a prosecutor during his term as a prosecutor, and because of that, a paperwork error turned into a major scandal that upended his existence for several years. While the paperwork error did indeed technically lead to a felony (and his other dealings were neither more nor less shady than any other politician), his enemies were gleeful to turn the matter into grounds to attack him and his entire family. Prosecutors make enough enemies in the legitimate progression of their careers: they should not make a habit of gaining additional ones. If the fallout from this stunt has caused them any serious inconvenience, then it is better for them if they learn their lesson at this stage, rather than later.
 

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There is a “duty to render aid” when you caused the peril.

There is “reasonable care” every person must take in any given circumstances. The law expects us all to act reasonably. In this, the law does not make allowances for level of intelligence (unless the individual is considered disabled), ignorance, or being “panicked”. (Though I can not search “panic defense” without the results attaching “gay” to it. Minus sign be damned.)
When truck driver accepted his license to drive mountainous roads with a full load of lumber, he accepted all the responsibilities that come with it.

Bad laws are enacted by bad politicians who campaign rather than govern. When the ignorant masses call for vengeance, it is the duty of legislators to respond in a reasonable manner.

When a prosecutor with such high responsibility conducts their self in an inappropriate manner, disciplinary action should be taken. Something more than the DA stating that it is “being handled internally”. Her actions speak to her character. I’d like to think her career in the DA office has come to a standstill.
 

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Regarding his lawyer... no. He did not have a good lawyer. His first lawyer, back in 2019 when this happened (very close to where I live, BTW), he had a lawyer that was well known as a Marijuana Legalization and rights activist, got into legal trouble himself and dropped out of the case in 2020. His next lawyer subsequently dropped out of the case after being injured in a car accident. He is on his third one now, with all of these changes causing major delays in his trial.
 

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At his age, he could not have been a very experienced rig driver. And who knows how one will behave in an emergency.
No matter how inexperienced, he acted completely recklessly. Even the people behind him on the road knew he should have taken that off-ramp. So what's his excuse?
He may not have seen the runoff in time or may not have thought he could effect the maneuver. Or he may have simply panicked.
There was a big-ass sign saying "runaway truck ramp 2000 ft". He had plenty of time to react. Also, there is no indication that the maneuver to gently veer right onto the ramp could not be effected. Have you even watched the video? Instead of going right, he swerves left across lanes, almost collecting a white pickup truck in the process.

Maybe you’ve never made a driving error. I have and I’m grateful no one was hurt.
I am not a professional driver, but no. Nothing like this. And I always downshift on long grades.

His swerve to the left shows that he knows he's in trouble--that's the sort of move you pull when you know you're in danger of losing it in the turn.
So, I am very familiar with this road.. I drive it often. I live within 20 miles of the accident.
There are a LOT of signs for truckers about cooling brakes, snow chain requirements, runaway truck ramps, technical information on the slope of the road.... This is not a regular part of interstate highway... this is the way you drive when coming out of the 14,000' Rocky Mountains onto the 5,000' high plains of Denver. It is called the Front Range, and for about 30 miles from Colorado Springs all the way to Denver, you never touch the gas pedal in your car. You could turn your car off and coast all the way home, theoretically.
If you are "driving" a runaway truck on this section of i70, it is impossible to miss a piece of safety information or ramp... impossible without an element of gross negligence.
There is even one sign that makes me chuckle every time I pass it.. He passed this very same sign..

1640632004376.png

 

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Here is a picture of the runaway truck ramp that he didn't take. Notice that all you have to do is continue straight off the road and up the ramp. It took an intentional effort to avoid the ramp and stay on the road (which turns significantly left). There were 4 instances where intentional decisions led to the crash (not an "accident"), according to prosecution in this case. This was one of them..

1640632491142.png
 

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So, I am very familiar with this road.. I drive it often. I live within 20 miles of the accident.
There are a LOT of signs for truckers about cooling brakes, snow chain requirements, runaway truck ramps, technical information on the slope of the road.... This is not a regular part of interstate highway... this is the way you drive when coming out of the 14,000' Rocky Mountains onto the 5,000' high plains of Denver. It is called the Front Range, and for about 30 miles from Colorado Springs all the way to Denver, you never touch the gas pedal in your car. You could turn your car off and coast all the way home, theoretically.
If you are "driving" a runaway truck on this section of i70, it is impossible to miss a piece of safety information or ramp... impossible without an element of gross negligence.
There is even one sign that makes me chuckle every time I pass it.. He passed this very same sign..

View attachment 36510


I've only done that road once but there's absolutely no doubt you're on a serious hill and they're serious about providing for runaway trucks.

The road doesn't go to anything like 14,000', though.
 

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Just as Kyle Rittenhouse should never have had a gun, that guy should never have been allowed to drive a truck. It's mind-boggling that some people who treat Rittenhouse as a hero want the trucker to rot in prison for 110 years.

Mandatory minimum prison terms are part of the absurdity. Do other countries have such? Or is this just another example of the American right-wing obsession that authority figures are all stupid and corrupt; and important decisions should be turned over to the most moronic 51%?

Was this young truck driver inadequately trained? Are accusations made against the company that hired him? I see that use of a runaway exit leads to a cost to the truck company of several thousands of dollars; is it possible that in his brief training course he was told not to use them?

Is the alleged shortage of truck drivers part of the problem? This accident should make clear that truck driving is a difficult and critical job; hiring should not be done as casually as the hiring of McDonald's order-fillers, janitors, or armed metropolitan police officers. (And are smart young people turning away from truck driving as a career by Elon Musk's promise to replace them with computers?)
 

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People who have criminal intent to cause misery and death have been handed more lenient sentences. There should be a limit to what a person can serve for negligent but unintended harm. What in the world does our society gain by this person serving decades in jail? A few moments of gratuitous 'he'll pay' celebration?
 

TomC

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People who have criminal intent to cause misery and death have been handed more lenient sentences. There should be a limit to what a person can serve for negligent but unintended harm. What in the world does our society gain by this person serving decades in jail? A few moments of gratuitous 'he'll pay' celebration?

Here's another thing that makes this particular incident so morally messy.

Apparently, the driver was offered a plea deal. I have no idea what the offer was, but he turned it down. That was yet another disastrous decision he made.

Without commenting on mandatory sentencing as a concept, by the time the jury reached a verdict the judge was bound to follow state laws. Unlike the driver, who made multiple disastrous decisions along the way, I doubt the judge had much leeway if any.
Tom
 

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Here is a picture of the runaway truck ramp that he didn't take. Notice that all you have to do is continue straight off the road and up the ramp. It took an intentional effort to avoid the ramp and stay on the road (which turns significantly left). There were 4 instances where intentional decisions led to the crash (not an "accident"), according to prosecution in this case. This was one of them..

View attachment 36511
Geez, if I was a truck driver trying to manage a speeding truck with brake failure and saw that runaway truck ramp dead ahead, I would look at it like a gift from the gods. I'd probably shit my pants I would be so relieved! I might even turn from atheist to a believer in that moment. OK, that's probably going too far. ;)

There are a couple of runaway truck ramps that I pass by on my way back from Tahoe on I-80. Those are a bit sketchy looking IMHO. Somewhat narrow gravel roads that curve off from the main highway. If I was a truck driver with an out of control truck there, I would be terrified that I could veer off the runaway ramp or spin out on the gravel. Still it would be less terrifying than continuing down the highway gaining even more speed.

I had a pretty frightening situation once returning back from Yosemite on highway 120. There is a shortcut called Old Priest Grade Road that bypasses a more gently sloped, but far longer route up a steep grade. I once(!) went down it in my truck and before I got to the bottom, my brakes were going all the way to floorboard and I could smell the overheated brake fluid. Scared the living shit out of me. I flew past the stop sign at the bottom and merged onto the main highway. It was just a matter of luck that there was a break in traffic at that time. My tipoff about the danger should have been all the flowery memorial wreaths and crosses placed alongside the road.
 

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Online federal transportation records show that the owner of Castellano 03 Trucking, LLC, is now tied to a new business, Volt Trucking LLC, which has a history of violations involving brakes and brake connections, 9NEWS reported.
Records show violations for "Brake connections with Constrictions Under Vehicle," "Brake Connections with Leaks - Connection to Power Unit," "Clamp or Roto type brake out-of-adjustment," and "No or defective brake warning device or pressure gauge," among others.
 

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(CBS4) — On Monday, the judge agreed to schedule a resentencing hearing for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos, the truck driver who crashed a semi-truck into stopped traffic on Interstate 70 in 2019, killing four people and injuring several more. He was sentenced to 110 years in prison, under minimum sentencing laws, after being convicted of 27 charges, including vehicular homicide.

On Monday, Alexis King, the Jefferson county district attorney, asked the judge to lower Aguilera-Mederos’ sentence down to 20 to 30 years.

Judge A. Bruce Jones agreed to schedule the resentencing hearing for 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 13.

The judge questioned how much discretion he has in the resentencing, which he called “troubling.”

During the original sentencing hearing earlier this month, the judge made it clear he did not agree with the sentence, but was bound to it under the law.

“If I had the discretion, it would not be my sentence,” he said.
 

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People who have criminal intent to cause misery and death have been handed more lenient sentences.

Might this be the reason for mandatory minimum sentences? Probably.

So, in an indirect but very real way, the truck driver is the victim of previous judges. Judges who didn't sentence more serious offenders as harshly as the broader community thought reasonable.

I dunno.
Looks like...

Tom
 

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People who have criminal intent to cause misery and death have been handed more lenient sentences.

Might this be the reason for mandatory minimum sentences? Probably.

So, in an indirect but very real way, the truck driver is the victim of previous judges. Judges who didn't sentence more serious offenders as harshly as the broader community thought reasonable.

I dunno.
Looks like...

Tom
This is what happens when justice is politicized. Politicians want to look "tough" on crime, but justice is crazy sometimes. Cases aren't Law and Order clear. But then the politicians create new rules so the people who commit crimes get the "time they deserve" because that is what the people want!

And then in some cases the wrong people get sentenced to these limits, there is outrage (like what opened up the BLM occupation), or in rare cases like this where the numbers are clearly outrageous even for the less represented minorities.

Justice should be justice. Politicians shouldn't be setting limits to get elected or re-elected.
 

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This is what happens when justice is politicized.
There's no way to avoid politicized state justice.

Cops and perps. Victims, their families, and bystanders. Judges and politicians. Laws, tacit assumptions, raw emotions.

Bunch a damn humans.

You gotta love 'em, or you'd mow 'em down with a machine gun.

Tom
 

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Geez, if I was a truck driver trying to manage a speeding truck with brake failure and saw that runaway truck ramp dead ahead, I would look at it like a gift from the gods. I'd probably shit my pants I would be so relieved! I might even turn from atheist to a believer in that moment. OK, that's probably going too far. ;)

There are a couple of runaway truck ramps that I pass by on my way back from Tahoe on I-80. Those are a bit sketchy looking IMHO. Somewhat narrow gravel roads that curve off from the main highway. If I was a truck driver with an out of control truck there, I would be terrified that I could veer off the runaway ramp or spin out on the gravel. Still it would be less terrifying than continuing down the highway gaining even more speed.

I had a pretty frightening situation once returning back from Yosemite on highway 120. There is a shortcut called Old Priest Grade Road that bypasses a more gently sloped, but far longer route up a steep grade. I once(!) went down it in my truck and before I got to the bottom, my brakes were going all the way to floorboard and I could smell the overheated brake fluid. Scared the living shit out of me. I flew past the stop sign at the bottom and merged onto the main highway. It was just a matter of luck that there was a break in traffic at that time. My tipoff about the danger should have been all the flowery memorial wreaths and crosses placed alongside the road.
Working at Yosemite in the winter, I always came down out of the valley in second gear, about 20 mph. The road was icy and if you so much as touched your brakes, you would slide straight no matter how badly you needed to turn. 😨
 

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People who have criminal intent to cause misery and death have been handed more lenient sentences. There should be a limit to what a person can serve for negligent but unintended harm. What in the world does our society gain by this person serving decades in jail? A few moments of gratuitous 'he'll pay' celebration?

Here's another thing that makes this particular incident so morally messy.

Apparently, the driver was offered a plea deal. I have no idea what the offer was, but he turned it down. That was yet another disastrous decision he made.

Without commenting on mandatory sentencing as a concept, by the time the jury reached a verdict the judge was bound to follow state laws. Unlike the driver, who made multiple disastrous decisions along the way, I doubt the judge had much leeway if any.
Tom

This. The huge sentence was due to mandatory sentencing rules. The idiot wouldn't take a reasonable plea and inevitably lost badly at trial.

The problem isn't with his sentence, it's with the rules that caused it. Blame the tough-on-crime politicians.
 

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So, in an indirect but very real way, the truck driver is the victim of previous judges. Judges who didn't sentence more serious offenders as harshly as the broader community thought reasonable.
That is a good point. These things are cyclic. The pendulum swings one way, there is a correction that ends up overcorrecting the other way. Rinse, repeat. Despite this sentence, we are currently in the "overcorrection in the soft on crime direction" phase of the cycle exemplified by things like overuse of no bail release of suspects and so-called "progressive" DAs coming to power in many cities and counties.

Idiot Jared Polis might believe that male students should be expelled if it is only 20% probable that he sexually assaulted anybody, but I do think he takes a far less grim view of vehicular homicide by professional drivers. He just might commute this mother trucker's sentence to time served.
 

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My tipoff about the danger should have been all the flowery memorial wreaths and crosses placed alongside the road.

Or maybe all these signs could have been a tipoff:
oldpriestrd.png

On a more positive note, that road looks like it would make for fun hill climb racing ...
 

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Just as Kyle Rittenhouse should never have had a gun, that guy should never have been allowed to drive a truck. It's mind-boggling that some people who treat Rittenhouse as a hero want the trucker to rot in prison for 110 years.
That guy really is living in your head rent-free, isn't he?
 

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My tipoff about the danger should have been all the flowery memorial wreaths and crosses placed alongside the road.

Or maybe all these signs could have been a tipoff:
View attachment 36523

On a more positive note, that road looks like it would make for fun hill climb racing ...
Heh...yeah. That too. :) I had gone up it several times prior to my first time downhill run. It was a huge time saver going up and relatively free of problems, though I avoided going up on really hot days due to the overheating engine risk. I knew about the downhill risk, but saw many others going that way seemingly with out problems, so figured it was worth a try. I thought the roadside memorials must have been Darwin Award winners.

I think the problem was I had a manual tranny transmission, and failed to put it in a lower gear right away, so I gained too much speed to be able to downshift without redlining my engine. Live and learn, I guess.
 

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Online federal transportation records show that the owner of Castellano 03 Trucking, LLC, is now tied to a new business, Volt Trucking LLC, which has a history of violations involving brakes and brake connections, 9NEWS reported.
Records show violations for "Brake connections with Constrictions Under Vehicle," "Brake Connections with Leaks - Connection to Power Unit," "Clamp or Roto type brake out-of-adjustment," and "No or defective brake warning device or pressure gauge," among others.

At the risk of going off into conspiracy theories,

It appears that the driver had really bad legal representation. So bad, maybe his sentence should be revisited.

Where was his employer while this was going on? Could they not afford a real lawyer? Or were they happy to have a scapegoat? Perhaps they preferred having him take up all the news, rather than the media focus on their hiring and maintenance policies.

I dunno.
Tom
 

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At the risk of going off into conspiracy theories,

It appears that the driver had really bad legal representation. So bad, maybe his sentence should be revisited.

Where was his employer while this was going on? Could they not afford a real lawyer? Or were they happy to have a scapegoat? Perhaps they preferred having him take up all the news, rather than the media focus on their hiring and maintenance policies.

I dunno.
Tom

Looks like it might have been a small outfit with minimal assets set up as a liability shield. Cheaper to abandon it and make a new one than defend the case.
 

Gun Nut

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So, I am very familiar with this road.. I drive it often. I live within 20 miles of the accident.
There are a LOT of signs for truckers about cooling brakes, snow chain requirements, runaway truck ramps, technical information on the slope of the road.... This is not a regular part of interstate highway... this is the way you drive when coming out of the 14,000' Rocky Mountains onto the 5,000' high plains of Denver. It is called the Front Range, and for about 30 miles from Colorado Springs all the way to Denver, you never touch the gas pedal in your car. You could turn your car off and coast all the way home, theoretically.
If you are "driving" a runaway truck on this section of i70, it is impossible to miss a piece of safety information or ramp... impossible without an element of gross negligence.
There is even one sign that makes me chuckle every time I pass it.. He passed this very same sign..

View attachment 36510


I've only done that road once but there's absolutely no doubt you're on a serious hill and they're serious about providing for runaway trucks.

The road doesn't go to anything like 14,000', though.
Get off i70 at Idaho Springs and then take a left on the road to Mt. Evans. It's the highest road in the contiguous US.. goes just past 14,000... but you're right.. i70 itself does not go quite that high at all.
 

TomC

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Get off i70 at Idaho Springs and then take a left on the road to Mt. Evans. It's the highest road in the contiguous US.. goes just past 14,000... but you're right.. i70 itself does not go quite that high at all
Good Lord.

At that altitude, I'm not sure I'd trust my computerized fuel injection to recognize that as air.
;)
Tom
 

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Get off i70 at Idaho Springs and then take a left on the road to Mt. Evans. It's the highest road in the contiguous US.. goes just past 14,000... but you're right.. i70 itself does not go quite that high at all.

It's closed during winter. When's summer? August 12th?
 

thebeave

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Well, that escalated quickly:

Truck driver's sentence lowered to 10 years after originally receiving 110 years for fatal crash

A truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a fatal accident in Colorado has been resentenced to 10 years after an outcry from family and advocates.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the commutation of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' sentence Thursday.

"I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation," Polis wrote. "After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on December 30, 2026."

Now it seems like they went too far the other way, IMHO.
 

TomC

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Well, that escalated quickly:

Truck driver's sentence lowered to 10 years after originally receiving 110 years for fatal crash

A truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a fatal accident in Colorado has been resentenced to 10 years after an outcry from family and advocates.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the commutation of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' sentence Thursday.

"I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation," Polis wrote. "After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on December 30, 2026."

Now it seems like they went too far the other way, IMHO.

I don't have a problem with that sentence. It's what I suggested up thread.

But the way this has been done I find appalling. I had no idea that the Colorado governor could just change sentences like that. Why have "mandatory minimum sentencing" laws at all, if an email to the governor can overturn state law? Why bother having judges get involved with sentencing at all, if it's really a decision by the governor? Does everyone who thinks their sentence too harsh get attention from the governor? If not, where's the dividing line? Squeaky wheels? BIPOC?
What?
Tom
 

thebeave

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Well, that escalated quickly:

Truck driver's sentence lowered to 10 years after originally receiving 110 years for fatal crash

A truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a fatal accident in Colorado has been resentenced to 10 years after an outcry from family and advocates.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the commutation of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' sentence Thursday.

"I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation," Polis wrote. "After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on December 30, 2026."

Now it seems like they went too far the other way, IMHO.

I don't have a problem with that sentence. It's what I suggested up thread.

But the way this has been done I find appalling. I had no idea that the Colorado governor could just change sentences like that. Why have "mandatory minimum sentencing" laws at all, if an email to the governor can overturn state law? Why bother having judges get involved with sentencing at all, if it's really a decision by the governor? Does everyone who thinks their sentence too harsh get attention from the governor? If not, where's the dividing line? Squeaky wheels? BIPOC?
What?
Tom
10 years seems a bit too light, given his extreme recklessness and the fact that four were killed, along with many others severely injured. I'd be good with 20 - 25 years. I'm with you regarding the Governor's actions. I wonder how many who complained directly to Polis even knew the details of the case?
 

Derec

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10 years seems a bit too light, given his extreme recklessness and the fact that four were killed, along with many others severely injured. I'd be good with 20 - 25 years.
If it were only actually 10 years. He actually only has to serve five, which is a year per person he killed and another year for everybody he injured. Should have been 20 years, that way he'd actually have to serve 10.
I'm with you regarding the Governor's actions. I wonder how many who complained directly to Polis even knew the details of the case?
My guess would be, not too many. Most probably only know his name, that he was a trucker and that he initially got 110 years.
 

Derec

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giphy.gif
 

Loren Pechtel

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I've only done that road once but there's absolutely no doubt you're on a serious hill and they're serious about providing for runaway trucks.

The road doesn't go to anything like 14,000', though.
Get off i70 at Idaho Springs and then take a left on the road to Mt. Evans. It's the highest road in the contiguous US.. goes just past 14,000... but you're right.. i70 itself does not go quite that high at all.

I'm not surprised the 14,000' spot isn't too far from the I-70 (and I wish I had known about it when I was there--I certainly would have gone up.) The mountains around it are impressive. The highest road I've been on was 12,000'. Google says the I-70 peaks out at 11,158'.
 

Gun Nut

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Get off i70 at Idaho Springs and then take a left on the road to Mt. Evans. It's the highest road in the contiguous US.. goes just past 14,000... but you're right.. i70 itself does not go quite that high at all.

It's closed during winter. When's summer? August 12th?
Memorial Day to Labor day... weather permitting... The road is closed when there are several dozen feet of snow... Think The Shining level of being snowed in... which was based on the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, incidentally.
 

Gun Nut

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I've only done that road once but there's absolutely no doubt you're on a serious hill and they're serious about providing for runaway trucks.

The road doesn't go to anything like 14,000', though.
Get off i70 at Idaho Springs and then take a left on the road to Mt. Evans. It's the highest road in the contiguous US.. goes just past 14,000... but you're right.. i70 itself does not go quite that high at all.

I'm not surprised the 14,000' spot isn't too far from the I-70 (and I wish I had known about it when I was there--I certainly would have gone up.) The mountains around it are impressive. The highest road I've been on was 12,000'. Google says the I-70 peaks out at 11,158'.
There are more "14ers" in Colorado than anywhere else in the world (a 14er is a mountain that peeks over 14,000'). A lot of 14ers are accessible from I-70 (we don't use the "The" here, like they do in CA, by the way, where it would be "The Seven Oh"... here we speak like Americans - its "Eye Seventy"). So, if you are heading to a trail to hike up a mountain, you are taking i-70 for a while before getting on whichever mountain road that winds up and/or through where you need to go.
 

Angry Floof

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I hope that didn't hurt the truck driver's feelings. People can be so reckless and uncaring.
I hope calling out this childish and insensitive (at best) behavior doesn't hurt the feelings of the lowest common denominators among us, who think the highest levels of power should be just as stunted and unaware as they are.
 

Loren Pechtel

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There are more "14ers" in Colorado than anywhere else in the world (a 14er is a mountain that peeks over 14,000'). A lot of 14ers are accessible from I-70 (we don't use the "The" here, like they do in CA, by the way, where it would be "The Seven Oh"... here we speak like Americans - its "Eye Seventy"). So, if you are heading to a trail to hike up a mountain, you are taking i-70 for a while before getting on whichever mountain road that winds up and/or through where you need to go.

Huh? I would have thought the Himilayas would have more peaks over 14k. Doesn't 14er mean 14,000' to 14,999'? Someday I hope to bag some of the easier ones. (14k, fine--I've been to 18k and I do well with altitude. Class 3 is another matter, I'll only do the easiest stuff.)
 

Angry Floof

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Well, that escalated quickly:

Truck driver's sentence lowered to 10 years after originally receiving 110 years for fatal crash

A truck driver who was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a fatal accident in Colorado has been resentenced to 10 years after an outcry from family and advocates.

Gov. Jared Polis announced the commutation of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos' sentence Thursday.

"I am writing to inform you that I am granting your application for a commutation," Polis wrote. "After learning about the highly atypical and unjust sentence in your case, I am commuting your sentence to 10 years and granting you parole eligibility on December 30, 2026."

Now it seems like they went too far the other way, IMHO.

I don't have a problem with that sentence. It's what I suggested up thread.

But the way this has been done I find appalling. I had no idea that the Colorado governor could just change sentences like that.

??? Every governor can issue pardons and commute sentences. How is it possible you didn't know this?

Why have "mandatory minimum sentencing" laws at all, if an email to the governor can overturn state law?
It's not "overturning state law." It's "commuting a sentence."

Why bother having judges get involved with sentencing at all, if it's really a decision by the governor?

Judgements are not decisions by governors. Commutations and pardons are decisions that governors can make, however.

Does everyone who thinks their sentence too harsh get attention from the governor?

Of course not. There must be millions of people in prisons all over the country who think their sentence too harsh but do not get attention from governors. THIS particular case was extreme and thought to be extreme by almost everyone involved and thought to be extreme by everyone else who heard about it.

And they all spoke out.

And the governor paid attention to that.

But not because it was just so many people emailing him.

It was because he obviously agreed it was extreme. In fact, he said it was a "tragic but unintentional act."

At the same time, he gave two other commutations, fifteen individual pardons, and an executive order granting 1,351 pardons for those convicted of possessing two ounces or less of marijuana.

:OMG:


If not, where's the dividing line? Squeaky wheels? BIPOC?
What?
Tom
:rofl: Can you be more of a drama queen? None of that hyperbolic crap makes sense in light of actual events and facts here.
 
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