A Texas truck driver has been arrested for a fiery 28-vehicle pile-up on a Colorado highway that left at least four people dead.
Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, was busted Friday on suspicion of vehicular homicide in connection with the multi-vehicle crash along bustling Interstate 70 near Denver on Thursday around 4:50 p.m., police said.
His arrest stemmed from police interviews and evidence collected, authorities said, without elaborating.
Lakewood Police Department spokesman Ty Countryman said there was no indication that drugs or alcohol played a role in the wreck.
Countryman noted that Aguilera-Mederos, who was not yet been formally charged, was cooperating with cops.
“It is true carnage there as far as the debris, what’s left of cars and trucks, along with the cargoes that were in the semis,” said Countryman, who called the crash “one of the worst accidents” the department has had, KMGH-TV reported.
Aguilera-Mederos, who is being held at the Jefferson County jail, is slated to appear in court Saturday.
Officials say the deadly wreck unfolded when the suspect’s lumber-filled semi-truck slammed into vehicles on the freeway as the truck was headed down a hill, causing a fire so severe that it engulfed numerous cars and even melted the roadway and metal off vehicles.
The lumber from Aguilera-Mederos’ flatbed truck flew across the highway and went up in flames when the cars exploded and spilled fuel ignited, the Denver Post reported.
The impact sparked a series of explosions, killing four people and seriously injuring six people, including the suspect, according to the news outlet.
“We’re still working on a final count of cars to people,” said Countryman, adding that the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office is working to sort through human remains found inside cars, according the Denver Post.
The identities of the victims have not been released.
Witness Joshua McCutchen told “Good Morning America” that he saw the semi-truck barreling down the emergency lane before he saw the outburst of fire and explosions.
“I’ve never seen that many cars and that much destruction and fire,” McCutchen said. “It was just complete chaos.”
Authorities had to wait until the massive fire was put out before investigating the crash.
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