DENVER – Colorado Governor Jared Polis has reduced the prison sentence for a truck driver convicted in a fatal accident to 10 years, significantly reducing his original 110-year sentence that has sparked widespread outrage.
The decision Thursday on the sentence of Rogel Aguilera-Mederos was one of many commutations and end-of-year pardons pronounced by Polis.
The move comes days after a judge scheduled a hearing next month to reconsider the sentence at the request of the district attorney, who had planned to ask for it to be reduced from 20 to 30 years.
About 5 million people have signed an online petition asking for pardon for Aguilera-Mederos.
Judge Bruce Jones imposed the 110-year sentence on Dec. 13 after concluding it was the mandatory minimum sentence under state law, noting that it would not have been his choice.
The 2019 explosive crash left four people dead.
Aguilera-Mederos testified that he was hauling lumber when the brakes on his tractor-trailer failed as he descended a steep grade on Interstate 70 in the foothills of the Rockies.
His truck crashed into vehicles that had slowed down from another wreckage, triggering chain reaction wreckage and a fireball that consumed the vehicles and melted parts of the highway.