An online petition has been created for 26-year old semi-truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos after he received a lengthy 110-year prison sentence. The sentence stems from a 2019 accident that resulted in the death of four people.
Aguilera-Mederos was driving a semi on Interstate 70 when, according to him, the brakes failed on a road that was already on a downhill grade. The truck hit several cars on the interstate that were already stopped for another accident. The fiery crash resulted in the death of Stanley Politano, 69; William Bailey, 67; Doyle Harrison, 61; and Miguel Lamas Arrellano, 24.
“It’s hard to live with this trauma. I can’t sleep, I’m thinking all the time about the victims,” Aguilera-Mederos said while addressing the judge during sentencing. “This was a terrible accident, I know. I take the responsibility. But I’m not a criminal.” He continued with, “Your honor, I don’t know why I’m alive.”
The 110-year sentence has caused many on social media to take issue and vent their disappointment in the justice system. Enrique Santos, a radio host is among the harsh critics. He posted on Instagram, “I am in shock at the excessive sentencing of Cuban truck driver Rogel Aguilera-Mederos in Colorado. His brakes FAILED. It was not intentional. It was an ACCIDENT. Rogel is NOT a criminal.”
The outcry prompted a petition from Change.org. It was posted on Wednesday and is looking to garner enough support to get the centuries-long sentence reduced.
Boxer Yordenis Ugás also took to social media to show his support. The Cuban athlete posted a plea for Cubans living in America to help Aguilera-Mederos saying, “An accident will always be an accident and the person should always deserve a second chance. The victims and their families are not forgotten either, he made a mistake, he has to pay and no one wanted him to go free, but 110 years will not have a second chance.”
The Change.org petition for Rogel Aguilera-Mederos currently has over 1.5 million signatures of support.