Fiery crash on Colorado interstate causes 'multiple deaths,' police say

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Update 4:35 a.m. April 27: The driver of a semitrailer that caused the 28-vehicle crash on I-70 in Colorado was arrested on multiple vehicular homicide charges, according to the Lakewood Police Department.

Rogel Lazaro Aguilera-Mederos, 23, of Houston, was identified as the driver, KDVR reported. He was born in Cuba and was living in the U.S. legally with a green card, the television station reported.

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Ty Countryman, a spokesman with the Lakewood Police Department, said 24 cars and four semis were involved in the crash.

Original report: I-70 was closed in several directions after the crash, KDVR reported. Eastbound lanes remained closed and could remain closed for the morning rush hour traffic, the Denver Post reported.

According to Lakewood Police Department spokesman Ty Countryman, the crash occurred around 9 p.m. when a semi traveling at a high rate of speed on an eastbound lane of I-70 collided with other vehicles, KDVR reported. The collision began a chain reaction of crashes and fire, the television station reported. The driver of the semi survived the crash.

A West Metro Fire Rescue firefighter suffered minor injuries from an explosion, the Post reported. The firefighter was hit by debris, likely an exploding tire, officials said.

Countryman said one semi was carrying wood, another was carrying gravel and the third may have been carrying mattresses, according to KDVR. The driver of the semi lost control and hit standstill traffic underneath a bridge, resulting in explosions and fire as several vehicles were hit, Countryman said. 

"This is looking to be one of the worst accidents we've had here in Lakewood," Countryman told reporters.

The Denver West Parkway bridge over I-70 was significantly damaged by the fire, authorities said.

A Centura Health spokesman said at least six people -- three men and three women -- were being treated at an area hospital, KDVR reported. One male patient is in good condition and others are in fair condition, the spokesman said.

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