Jesus Puebla faces vehicular homicide charges for I-25 crash that killed family

A truck driver involved in a fatal crash on Interstate 25 that killed a family of five has been charged with five counts of vehicular homicide.

Jesus Puebla, 26, was taken into custody Thursday evening and was charged in the case stemming from a June 13 crash in Weld County, according to a DA’s office news release and court documents.

Puebla, of Denver, also is charged with careless driving, reckless driving, a commercial vehicle safety violation and for not having a commercial license, all traffic violations. The five counts of vehicular homicide are felonies, as is one count vehicular assault that he faces.

The crash happened about 1:30 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-25 just south of Colorado 66. The family was returning home to Gillette, Wyo.

Puebla was driving a 1999 Kenworth T800 box truck at the time of the four-vehicle crash. The family was in a 2015 Ford Edge driven by 20-year-old Aaron Godines. Also killed in the crash were Emiliano and Christina Godines, Aaron’s parents; Halie Everts, Aaron’s wife; and their 3-month-old daughter, Tessleigh Godines.

Puebla’s truck rear-ended the Ford Edge with the family inside, according to an arrest affidavit. After the initial collision, the commercial truck collided with the Edge a second time.

The box truck was traveling about 76 mph when it hit the Ford Edge, according to the affidavit. Traffic had backed up and slowed to a crawl, the Ford was going about 6 mph when it was hit. There was no indication that Puebla braked or veered to avoid the collision. Puebla was not distracted by his cellphone at the time of the crash, according to phone records as part of the investigation.

An investigator with the state patrol determined that the commercial truck “had several violations relating to the brakes,” the affidavit said.

A witness to the crash, a driver who wasn’t directly involved in the collision, told an investigator that Puebla was driving aggressively before the incident, including tailgating the witness at high speed.

“I was in the left lane and kinda remember him riding my ass, and I was like, ‘What the hell?’” the witness said in the affidavit.

Puebla is awaiting a court date in the case, according to the news release.

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