Trucker in deadly Colorado crash charged with 40 criminal counts

DENVER, May 3 (Reuters) - A Texas truck driver who police say caused a fiery multi-vehicle crash near Denver last week that killed four people and injured four was charged on Friday with 40 criminal counts including vehicular manslaughter, prosecutors said.

Police in Lakewood, Colorado said they arrested 23-year-old Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos after he lost control of his tractor-trailer truck during the evening rush hour on April 25 and caused a crash on Interstate 70 that involved at least 28 vehicles.

The district attorney for Jefferson County, where the crash took place, charged Aguilera-Mederos with 40 counts on Friday, including four counts of vehicular homicide, six of first degree assault and 24 of attempted first degree assault.

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Multi-vehicle crash near Denver, Colorado, on April 26, 2019
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Multi-vehicle crash near Denver, Colorado, on April 26, 2019
Lakewood, CO - APRIL 25: Fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway shuts down highway in both directions. April 25, 2019. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Lakewood, CO - APRIL 25: Fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway shuts down highway in both directions. April 25, 2019. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Lakewood, CO - APRIL 25: Fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway shuts down highway in both directions. April 25, 2019. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Lakewood, CO - APRIL 25: One person dead in fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway that shut down highway in both directions. April 25, 2019. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Lakewood, CO - APRIL 25: One person dead in fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway that shut down highway in both directions. April 25, 2019. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Lakewood, CO - APRIL 25: One person dead in fiery crash on I-70 near Colorado Mills Parkway that shut down highway in both directions. April 25, 2019. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A multi-vehicle accident and an oil spill have shut down all lanes of I-70 eastbound. Monday, October 03, 2011, in Wheat Ridge during the morning rush hour. RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post (Photo By RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
A multi-vehicle accident and an oil spill have shut down all lanes of I-70 eastbound. Monday, October 03, 2011, in Wheat Ridge during the morning rush hour. RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post (Photo By RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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The tractor-trailer, which was carrying lumber, rammed into several cars, causing a pile-up that became a raging inferno, authorities said. The four men who died were all single occupants in their vehicles, according to a local TV station.

"The carnage was significant," police spokesman Ty Countryman said at the time. "Just unbelievable."

There was no initial indication that Aguilera-Mederos intentionally caused the crash, or that he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Countryman said.

(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Additional reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)

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