Press Conference: Police give update on fiery I-70 crash in Lakewood, Colorado



good morning everyone my name is John Romero I'm the public information officer here with the liquid Police Department first and foremost we just want to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims of this tragic incident from last night right now the number one focus of the liquid Police Department is to fully investigate this crash and to to bring justice to these families and for these victims as well today with me I have agent Tye countryman with the liquid Police Department I also have Tamara Ellison with c-dot they're going to give you an update on where we are in our investigation with the crash and also an update on where we are with road closures in the area so first up will be ty countryman agent with the liquid police department good morning since we've talked this morning earlier we have like I said before taking a person into custody and made an arrest this gentleman was charged with four counts of vehicular homicide he was lodged at Jefferson County Jail his name and we will get this out on on print to you here shortly last name is Aguilera hyphenated metros and I'll give spellings when we're done here first name is Rogel middle name is Lazaro and his birthday was 11 21 of 95 he's a resident out of Texas and that's where we kind of stand as far as the suspect goes in this the investigation showed that he was driving eastbound on i-70 in a semi the one that we've seen on some of the videos the flatbed carrying the the load of wood he loses control the vehicle coming down i-70 traffic was backed up just on the south side of the Denver West Parkway given the crash that was way up by Ward Road in Kipling Street at that time of day we all know i-70 can be very very jammed up he can't stop doesn't stop and ends up colliding with several cars and as a result of that the fire ensues and and we have what everybody saw from the the videos the number of cars is still the same 28 cars I'm sorry 28 vehicles 24 cars for semis and the number of confirmed fatalities is four we are still working with the coroner's office on identifying all the bodies and working with them on that so right now we don't have any IDs of any of the victims and that is a a long process that the coroner's office is gonna have to go through so I would say you know be patient with us and go from there so the investigation like I said right now is clean up the cars are being removed as we speak there is there is just a bunch of debris from this this crash that took place the carnage was was significant just unbelievable and it's taken a long process to do that so as we said before when we get the roadway cleared up for the accident side and the police department side then we turn it over to CDOT so they can work on the maintenance part of it for the roadway in the bridge if you have any questions for me I'll answer those and then if not we'll turn it over to Tamara from CDOT of his truck on i-70 we've seen that same video and we're working to confirm it we can't confirm that's him and that's what we're working on just through some of our resources and technology to make sure we can confirm that's the the same truck given it's about three four miles from here where he lost control that is still still part of the investigation we're still looking into that we have witnesses that we want to talk to again and re-interview I think they can certainly help us with with kind of a timeline or a timeframe of where all this took place so like I said we're not confirming any of the video right now we've seen it and we've got it – we're just trying to make sure it's the right guy that that were the truck we're looking at the driving yes yes um I can tell you I know some of that but we're not releasing any of that that's part of the investigation that we want to look into a little deeper as far as history and in some of that correct um I don't honestly don't know it I know that the the investigators down at the crash site have it I just haven't seen them to put it all together you know for that yes he did have a CDL license and it was out of Texas yeah nothing has changed with that is cooperating and we did use a translator in the investigation for the interview but there was some English being spoken um that's part of the interviews with the witnesses and that's part of the investigation we want to see really what took place from where he got on i-70 and that's what we're looking at is where did that happen at and what happened between that point and you know the time of the crash no that's all part of the investigation we're kind of working on and building our case for no the the investigators are looking at what his route was or what his I guess routes the best way to put it I don't know what his starting point in any point was supposed to be uh some of the drivers were able to get out on their own and and kind of move to safety and then when West Metro and and the first responders like I said last night we had some some great assistance from Colorado State Patrol Jefferson County Sheriff's Department West Metro Fire golden fire helped I'm sure I'm missing somebody here and obviously Lakewood was was a first responder on that too so between that yes it was there were injuries but these people were able to get out and get away from the extreme danger and then West Metro was able to to treat them and transport them and go from there there is a possibility I just don't from what I'm hearing at the scene that we don't at this time we don't think there is but we do know we have four that are confirmed know the coroner's office is working on identifying them so then we can go contact relatives that I don't know like I said out of the four of them I don't know that answer no I can't no I can't I'm not going to comment on that right now absolutely yes as the investigation continues if if we find and feel that different charges or more charges are appropriate and the district attorney's office you know works with us and we work with them then certainly charges more charges can certainly be added he's cooperative like I said a few minutes ago he spoke with us and as far as attitude and demeanor and all that I'm not going to comment on that no I think it's a concern for any truck coming down that hill and and anywhere from I guess you could say Floyd Hill I mean you could almost say the Continental Divide as far as how they're driving goes that's on the truckers and and their equipment and and obviously everything is every case is different there I know in the past there have been you know truck fires or break fires or whatever you want to call it but you know it's a kind of a random thing it's not every truck has these issues driver on i-70 that's exactly it keep control of your vehicle you know without control it doesn't matter if it's a fully loaded semi or or a smaller hatchback II you are responsible for your vehicle as it drives on the roadway I think I think there were some off-ramps he could have taken I think given some of the details in the crash I'm not sure those would have been good choices either no I did not mention it and right now I don't know it the investigators might have that information but I haven't seen it or heard it I've heard what it is I have I have no idea that'll be a coroner determination as far as like you said where was it because of the crash or because of the fire at that I don't know I it's a possibility you know at this point I think I think all the the possibilities are out there I know through like I've said before witnesses and some videos and evidence and stuff you know we're looking at all the the possibilities and that'll just be part of the case from witnesses yes I don't know that the number of them yes yes the for the the four victims in this were all single occupants there was no more than one in each car did that make sense um well from the hear that the cars are impounded and held for our policies and anytime we have a fatality they'll be taken to our tow yard that's contracted through the city the investigation will continue you know for many many days if not weeks on this the cars we're still trying to identify what some of the cars even are know right now the only assistance we're getting is from CSP State Patrol and that's for some of the motor carrier stuff that we have I have I don't know that insert no I the six that were transported I haven't heard any conditions on them given that the magnitude of this whole thing like I said that's where we're I know we have officers dealing with that but they're at a hospital and being taken care of and that's you know obviously first we'll we'll get and talk to them as time goes by yeah some of the videos that we've seen there are people running up to the the crash site and some of the the stuff there I don't know if we've talked to those people I don't know if they stayed our witness is were they back in the they drive up on it I just don't know their relationship to the to the crash on that um I don't know that answer given the timeframe of first call to first arrival and and you know from first responders and fire and all that I don't know if they helped get out some of the the victims that may have been injured or the people that were not injured in this I don't know that answer no we're still looking at it there's no change in in that um honestly I don't know I've heard too and I don't know if one's a residence or ones where the trucking company is at so I I don't want speculate on which one could be each on that okay if we don't have any questions like I said we're working on cleaning up still at this time I'll turn it over to Tamara from seedot and let if you guys have any questions as far as the road maintenance and cleanup from that side of it thank you good morning everybody tamra Rawlinson ta ma ra ra' lesan ro ll is o n c dot spokesperson so i 70 in both directions at the crash scene will be closed through tomorrow we don't know when it will reopen tomorrow but we are working alongside with our partners emergency personnel the Lakewood Police Department in others to help clear the scene the vehicles have to be cleared before we can really get in there and do our work we do have C team deployed they have been on the scene for quite a while and overnight we have been inspecting the bridge and we also have been inspecting the pavement as well we'll get a better idea of the damage to the pavement once the wreckage can be removed so our bridge inspectors have been taking a good look at that to see if there has been any damage to the bridge caused by the heat and by the smoke right now I don't have the results of that but certainly we'll let you know as soon as I know well traffic will be detoured around the crash site so that's what's what's really important for the safety of the crews out there doing a cleanup we don't know the extent of the damage to the pavement on i-70 and so that's what we will be taking a hard look once we can get once the wreckage can be removed and we can clear more of the debris we do expect some damage to the pavement we don't know to the extent and we are prepared to get in there quickly to repair it as safely and quickly as possible yes yes it would it would be from the fire and possibly if there is any kind of oil leakage from the vehicles as well to or from the tractor trailers we expect that there was some leakage oil leakage from those vehicles as well – which also could cause some damage to the pavement you can eat a hole through it it can oh absolutely yes and we certainly appreciate what you're doing for us and so if you can continue your good work and until motorists out there to avoid this area if they can it's going to be slow going I 70 in both directions in the crash area will be closed until tomorrow until we do our work our first and utmost priority is for the safety of motorists but we are working hard and diligently with our partners to open i-70 as safely and as quickly as possible well she got recessed drivers as they approach it's possible it's it's possible as far as what the long-term safety messaging will be following this week we have quite an aggressive safety campaign in which we urge drivers to to obey the law to drive as safely as possible so it's possible we could take that into consideration I believe so I'd have to check into that their purpose is one that I don't know but but the but the runaway ramps are are therefore should should you lose control of your vehicle you have an out I'm not sure I'd have to check into that for you we have we have runaway ramps located where they should be located of course we're always looking at ways in which we can improve our infrastructure all the time thank you so much you bet

Michael Martin

23 Responses

  1. The driver is from Cuba, supposedly can't speak or read English, has a green card and was given BAIL and is out walking around. He will be back to Cuba in no time!!

  2. 2019 and reporters still cannot figure out to speak into the microphone when asking questions at a press conference.

  3. darin barton the homeless man saved people in crash. fox news is collecting donations 2 help him please help this hero!

  4. These trucks should have governors installed so they can't drive over 65 mph. They are too big and heavy when loaded to safely stop.This what we get for allowing these trucks on the roads with passenger cars.I see then all the time tailgating smaller cars .

  5. God bless him and all involved!!!! If I seen where the trailer had no brakes and I couldn’t control it I would’ve jackknifed it into the gully

  6. Mother Mary of Mercy hear our prayers for loved ones that died, injured and family members of the innocent and the driver of the semi. Prayers and praying.

  7. WHY DIDNT FIRE START SPRAYING THE WATER UNTIL 32 SOME ODD MINUTES AFTER THE FIRE WAS ABLAZE….? AND WHY DID IT TAKE A HOMELESS MAN TO HELP SAVE THE PEOPLE THAT DID SURVIVE…… WHAT ARE TAX DOLLARS EVEN FOR? DOES THIS TOWN HAVE FIREMEN OR FIREPU,SSIES?

  8. THATS BS!!! Wtf is wrong with this police department? It was an accident. Why would you lock this driver up? You would never do that to someone that was driving an auto. F*cking idiots!

  9. Federal NTSB should've been involved from the beginning. The killer and semi are from out of state and crossed lines.

  10. When you see this incident unfold on Burger Planet's youtube channel (and the way he comments on it) and then you see here how the media, police and authorities cover the story it really brings home how un-user friendly & how formalised reporting and explanations can be. Basically the authorities talk 'at us' and not 'to us', they take possession of the discourse and use it in their own way. Sure they've got to investigate and get to the bottom of things but they could just share stuff in a less formal, less BS-infested way is all I'm saying.

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