DENVER – One of the survivors of the April semi-truck crash on Interstate 70 in Lakewood has sued the driver of the truck and the company that employed him.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Medeiros, 23, of Texas, faces 40 counts in the fiery wreck, which killed four people and injured many others.
One of the victims, Leslie Ross, named Aguilera-Mederos and Castellano Trucking in a lawsuit filed in Jefferson County Court in May, according to court records. Ross also named Progressive Direct in the lawsuit for an underinsured motorist claim.
Ross was stopped in traffic on I-70 on the afternoon of April 25 when Aguilera-Mederos crashed a semi-truck into the 2013 Ford Escape she was driving and other cars on the roadway, the lawsuit said.
The impact wedged Ross' SUV between the semi-truck and another vehicle. Ross suffered permanent physical impairment and disfigurement, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit alleged negligence on the part of Aguilera-Mederos and also the trucking company, accusing the company of not regularly inspecting the semi-truck and allowing Aguilera-Mederos to drive the truck. Rob Corry, Aguilera-Mederos' attorney, could not be reached over the phone Thursday.
According to an arrest affidavit, Aguilera-Mederos, who had a commercial driver’s license, had been driving at least 75 mph in an area where the speed limit was 45.
Witnesses told police the truck had been speeding around the Genesee exit and even forced a pickup truck off the road at one point, according to the affidavit. Despite the high speed, the driver did not use any emergency runaway truck ramps, witnesses said.
John Doll, investigator with the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office and a former detective with the Arvada Police Department, interviewed several witnesses who said they'd seen the semi prior to the crash. Earlier this month, Doll testified in court that he talked with one couple who was almost run off the road by a speeding semi in Rand, an unincorporated part of Jackson County, on April 25. After seeing the crash on the news later that day, the couple called police because they thought it may have been the same semi.