New York Daily News
A fast-moving freight train slammed into a parked police car with a handcuffed suspect in the backseat while at least one responding officer fled for his life, according to disturbing video released by authorities in Colorado.
The incident unfolded on Sept. 16 around 7:30 p.m., near U.S. 85 and Weld County Rd. 38, north of Platteville outside Denver. Officers from several law enforcement agencies — including those from Platteville and Fort Lupton — were responding at the time to a report of road rage “involving a firearm in Ft. Lupton earlier in the evening,” according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.
Fort Lupton Police Department on Friday provided 8 minutes of edited bodycam video from the night of the crash to KMGH. It shows officers handcuffing and then putting Yareni Rios-Gonzalez into the driver’s side backseat of a Platteville police cruiser, parked on the tracks just behind a vehicle belonging to the 20-year-old suspect.
About a minute later, a distant train horn can be heard as officers search Rios-Gonzalez’s truck for weapons. The train’s horn rings out several more times before officers finally react to the incoming locomotive — but by then it was already too late.
“Stay back!” one officer yells in the seconds ahead of the collision.
Another officer can be seen running away from the tracks just before the northbound train collides with the passenger side of the Platteville police cruiser.
“The most alarming thing for me is that you can hear the train coming,” Paul Wilkinson, a personal injury attorney representing the woman, told KMGH. “And it’s at nighttime, and the train has lights also, so you can both hear and see the train coming.”
Rios-Gonzalez was seriously injured in the incident, but is expected to survive, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
“She has a broken arm that she has had surgery on, nine broken ribs, a fractured sternum, broken teeth, injuries to her leg, back and head,” Wilkinson said, noting that his client remained hospitalized but is now able to sit up and hold a conversation.
One Platteville police officer involved in the incident has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, Police Chief Carl Dwyer told the Denver Post in an email.
The Fort Lupton Police Department is investigating the road rage report, while the Colorado State Patrol is probing the crash. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is also looking into the Rios-Gonzalez’s injury while she was in police custody.
With News Wire Services