The 26-year-old was handed the sentence, which many have deemed harsh and unfair, last week for a 2019 accident that killed four people.
A series of videos going viral on TikTok show truck drivers allegedly refusing to drive through the state of Colorado over the 110-year jail sentence of their fellow driver, Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos. The 26-year-old Cuban immigrant was handed the sentence—which many have deemed harsh and unfair—last week for a 2019 accident that killed four people after he crashed an out-of-control semi-truck into stopped traffic on Interstate 70 in Lakewood. More than 4 million people have since signed a petition on Change.org asking Colorado Governor Jared Polis to grant clemency or commute Aguilera-Mederos' prison sentence.
22-year-old Cuban immigrant Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos lost control of his semi-truck and unintentionally killed 4 people gets 110 YEARS in prison. #rogelaguilera pic.twitter.com/inZarD3PZS— Joseph Morris (@JosephMorrisYT) December 16, 2021
"This truck is no longer going to Colorado. We want justice for Rogel Aguilera. Truckers, he needs our help," reads the text overlay on a video posted by TikTok user @ntgi2020 which has been viewed over 4.2 million times. "I am a trucker and will NO LONGER be going to Colorado," states one of the top comments on the video. Another video posted by TikTok user @z71_mauro also urges truck drivers to take a stand for Aguilera-Mederos. "Justice for Rogel !!! He was also a victim, my fellow truckers let's stand together," the caption reads.
##freerogelaguilera ##rogelaguilera ##fyp##chicagotrucking ##fy ##viral ##truckertiktok ##trucker ##trucking ##justiceforrogelaguilera ##paratii♬ My Heart Will Go On (sound) - TikTok Effects ID
Justice for Rogel !!! He was also a victim, my fellow truckers lets stand together! ##justice ##rogelaguilera ##freerogelaguilera ##fyp ##trucker ##colorado♬ Tell Me Why I'm Waiting - Timmies/Shiloh
Meanwhile, an online movement for truckers to boycott the state was launched with the hashtag #NoTrucksToColorado. "This hits home. Coming from an immigrant truck driving family myself this breaks my heart. The truck driving industry ain't no piece of cake it takes real dedicated hard-working people to be able to deliver shipments all over this country and FOR WHAT. #NoTrucksToColorado," states a tweet by @gisguadalupe. "Me and my brother have decided that we (Brown Eagle LLC) have joined the protest and are not getting any loads out of or to Colorado until Rogel gets justice cause 110 years is ridiculous. The company should be held accountable," tweeted @AOrtega_80.
You wanna do some real damage to the economy? Mess with truck drivers. They are boycotting the state of Colorado after the #RogelAguileraMederos verdict.— alex 🇲🇽 (@r8dr4lfe75) December 16, 2021
We need this nation wide pic.twitter.com/lx8ZuwhBhk
According to Daily Mail, Aguilera-Mederos' sentence comes two months after a jury found him guilty on 27 criminal counts including four counts of vehicular homicide, two counts of vehicular assault, four counts of careless driving causing death etc. The young driver—who was 23 years old at the time of the accident—claimed the brakes in his truck had failed and he lost control of the vehicle. However, prosecutors argued in court that Aguilera-Mederos could have taken steps to prevent the crash, including using a runaway truck ramp miles before the wreck. But his defense attorney argued that Aguilera-Mederos' actions were a series of negligent decisions and that he had not intended to hurt anyone. The attorney also claimed that his client didn't know the truck brakes were smoking or that he would not be able to stop.
The brakes on his truck failed and it resulted in a fatal pile-up crash, but he was sentenced as though he did it intentionally. Please sign. https://t.co/LrMdzIwXbY— 🇺🇸100%LibGrandma🌊 (@AnitaSummers57) December 19, 2021
Before his sentencing, Aguilera-Mederos broke down in tears before the judge as he pleaded for leniency. "It's hard. This was a terrible accident, I know," he said. "I take the responsibility, but it was an accident. I have never thought about hurting anyone in my entire life and Jesus Christ, he knows that, he knows my heart. I am not a criminal, I am not a murderer. The accident - it wasn't intentional, it wasn't intentional, Your Honor. I did all that I can as a man. I put myself in harm's way to avoid harming anyone else. I want to say sorry, sorry for the loss, sorry for the people injured. I ask... God many times why them and not me."
Cuban immigrant Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos said he was "working for a better future for my family." Sad, tragic case all the way around. pic.twitter.com/fnUOtnrXPg— Joseph Morris (@JosephMorrisYT) December 16, 2021