A series of viral TikTok videos allegedly show lines of truckers refusing to enter Colorado. They are seemingly protesting for 26-year-old driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos after he was sentenced to 110 years in prison for a 2019 accident that killed four people. Aguilera-Mederos said the brakes on his truck failed.
TikTok user recently @ntgi2020 posted a video, which has received over 3.6 million views, with the overlay text stating, “This truck is no longer going to Colorado. We want justice for Rogel Aguilera. Truckers, he needs our help.”
One of the top comments reads, “I am a trucker and will NO LONGER be going to Colorado.”
Another TikTok user, @secretloser23, posted a video showing a long line of truckers, with the message: “No trucks in Colorado.”
“Truckers, if it happened to Rogel, it can happen to you. stay united,” one of the top comments urges.
A third viral video shows footage from a helicopter filming the lines of trucks, which are allegedly truck drivers partaking in the protest.
According to multiple reports, Aguilera-Mederos, then-23, crashed the rig he was driving into stopped traffic on Interstate 70 in Lakewood, Colorado, in April 2019. The crash killed four people—Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano, 24; William Bailey, 67; Doyle Harrison, 61; and Stanley Politano, 69. It also reportedly injured several others and destroyed or damaged dozens of vehicles in a fiery blaze. Aguilera-Mederos reportedly claimed his brakes failed and that he lost control of the truck.
Aguilera-Mederos was convicted of 42 counts, including vehicular homicide and various assault and reckless driving charges. On Monday, Judge A. Bruce Jones of Jefferson County sentenced him to 110 years in prison, intimating state laws demanding mandatory minimums to run consecutively tied his hands.
Jones said, per NBC News, that “If I had the discretion, if I thought I had the discretion, I would not run those sentences consecutively.”
Aguilera-Mederos’ attorney Jim Colgan reportedly said his client chose to appeal the sentence based on “any errors that may have occurred during the trial,” per CBS4. In the same report, Gov. Jared Polis said his office would “review all clemency applications. We have yet to receive one from the individual.”
“It hurts; I ask god too many times why them and not me? Why did I survive that accident?” a teary Aguilera-Mederos reportedly said to the court, per CBS4.
Since then, nearly 3 million people have signed an online petition calling on the sentence to be changed or to get clemency granted for Aguilera-Mederos. The petition alleges that the fault lies with “the trucking company,” which “has had several inspections since 2017, with several mechanical violations.”
There is an online movement for truckers to boycott the state, with many using the #NoTrucksToColorado hashtag.
The Daily Dot has reached out to the Law Office of James Colgan, Jefferson County, as well as State of Colorado Judicial PIO for comment.
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*First Published: Dec 17, 2021, 2:17 pm CST
Kahron Spearman is a music/film critic and copywriter. His feature work can be regularly found in ‘The Austin Chronicle’.