The reaction to Rogel Aguilera-Mederos’ 110-year prison sentence has been immediate and widespread. On Thursday, the 26-year-old truck driver was found guilty on 27 different counts related to a deadly incident on Interstate 70 in Denver, Colorado. The brakes on Aguilera-Mederos’ semi-truck failed, and he crashed into stopped traffic, killing four people. The extraordinary severe mandatory sentence has faced widespread disagreement, even from the judge and the victims’ families.
A trucker-led movement has exploded on social media, especially TikTok. Truckers are refusing to drive in Colorado to get Governor Jared Polis to grant Rogel Aguilera-Mederos clemency or commute part of his sentence. The videos circulating show surreal scenes of trucks stopped on the highway shoulders lined up seemingly for miles.
Over 4 million people have signed an online petition supporting the protests’ goals. The petition stated that Aguilera-Mederos’ employer should be held accountable for what occurred. It mentions that Aguilera-Mederos had a clean driving and criminal record. Also, he fully cooperated with investigators and passed alcohol and drug tests. The petition also alleges that the trucking company had a spotty record with equipment inspections.
Rallies in Denver have quickly been organized to take place in the coming weeks. The first rally will happen at 10:00 am on December 20th at the Colorado State Capitol building. This rally’s organizers have stated:
“Please note this is in no way to take anything away from the families of those who lost their lives, this is a tragedy all the way around and we offer our respect and condolences. Our goal is to bring local and national awareness so that we CAN find someone who will support Rogel in creating change in this sentencing”
The second rally will occur at 8:30 am on December 27th as protesters caravan to the Jefferson County Courthouse. Based on the fervor seen across social media regarding the sentencing, it is doubtful that this movement will slow down until something is done.