The victims were 24-year-old Denver resident Miguel Angel Lamas Arellano; Doyle Harrison, a 61-year-old from Hudson; 67-year-old Arvadan William Bailey; and Stanley Politano, a 69-year-old who was also from Arvada. They were killed when a semi-truck driven by Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos careened out of control into traffic that had stopped because of a previous smash-up between a school bus and another semi approximately a mile away.
Aguilera-Mederos was arrested after the accident on suspicion of vehicular homicide. I-70 wasn't fully reopened until the evening of Friday, April 26.
Of the four individuals who died, Politano is the one with the largest online footprint; he was driving home from work that afternoon. The website for Jacobs Entertainment notes that he had "over twenty years of experience in the gaming industry, and has been with Jacobs Entertainment, Inc. since it purchased Black Hawk Gaming & Development Company, Inc. in 2002. Mr. Politano has been active in the development and acquisition of new gaming properties for Jacobs Entertainment, Inc."
The bio adds that "during the period from 1994 to 2002, Mr. Politano was Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer of Black Hawk Gaming & Development Company, Inc. and also served on its board of directors. He came to the gaming industry with 22 years of experience in the securities industry in both retail and wholesale capacities with firms such as E. F. Hutton & Company and Prudential Securities. Stan received a B.S in Business from the University of Colorado in 1972."
Bloomberg's profile of Politano provides more details about his professional life, indicating that his former firms included Hanifen, Imhoff Inc. and "Rauscher Pierce Securities Corp."
The charges: four counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault.
The 1st Judicial District DA's office, which covers Jefferson and Gilpin counties, asked for a $500,000 cash bond for Aguilera-Mederos "considering the extent of the damage, that Mr. Aguilera has no ties to Colorado and is in the U.S. on a green card, and that Mr. Aguilera could potentially face a significant prison sentence."
After considering this request, Judge Zenisek set bond at $400,000 cash/surety and affixed the conditions that Aguilera-Mederos not drive upon release and surrender his passport.
According to court documents, Aguilera-Mederos, a Cuban by birth who's been in the United States legally for several years, passed by a runaway truck ramp going about 85 miles per hour, and when he saw traffic stopped ahead, he tried to move his vehicle onto the interstate's shoulder, only to realize that another semi was already there. Witnesses told investigators that the expression on his face around the time of impact was wide-eyed and terrified.
The next court appearance of Aguilera-Mederos is slated for May 3. Services for Arellano, Harrison, Bailey and Politano are pending.