CDOT Asks Truckers About Runaway Ramps in Wake of I-70 Tragedy
Denver, CO — The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is asking truckers to provide feedback about their experience with runaway ramps.
CDOT is conducting a new survey for the purpose of better understanding where to best position emergency escape ramps and how to most effectively display them for truckers.
The 23-question survey comes in the wake of a guilty verdict in the case of the trucker charged in the horrific 28-vehicle crash along Interstate 70 that claimed the lives of four people and injured six others.
Last month, after only a few hours of deliberation, a Jefferson County jury found 25-year-old truck driver Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos guilty on a range of charges — including four counts of vehicular homicide — stemming from the April 2019 fiery accident.
The circumstances that led to the deadly crash — and the legal proceedings that followed — captured nationwide attention.
Mederos was operating a flatbed semi loaded with lumber when he lost his brakes and eventually crashed into rush hour traffic at a high rate of speed.
Shortly after the accident, video emerged of Mederos’ big rig speeding and swerving as it traveled along a downgrade on I-70 eastbound and passing a clearly marked runaway ramp just minutes from the crash site.
Mederos’ defense team argued he was an inexperienced driver — especially on that route — and had not been sufficiently trained on how to handle such a difficult driving situation.
In the aftermath of the high-profile trial, CDOT’s new survey asks specific questions such as:
• What type of signage on the road gets your attention?
• How far in advance would you like notice about an emergency escape ramp?
• What would keep you from using an emergency escape ramp?
• Do you know where existing escape ramps on the Colorado I-70 mountain corridor are located?
Click HERE to take the survey.
As for Mederos, he is facing up to more than 50 years in prison.
Sentencing is scheduled for December 13, 2021.