A high-speed freight train crashed into a parked police car with a suspect in handcuffs in the back seat, while at least one of the responding officers escaped saving lives, according to a disturbing video released by Colorado authorities.
The incident occurred on September 16 at approximately 7:30 PM, near US 85 and Weld County Rd. 38, north of Platteville outside Denver. Several law enforcement officials – including those in Platteville and Fort Lupton – were responding at the time to a traffic fury report “involving firearms in Ft. Lupton early 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 disaster to KMGH. It shows officers handcuffed and then placing Yareni Rios-Gonzalez in the back seat on the driver’s side of a Platteville police car, parked on the tracks just behind the vehicle belonging to the 20-year-old suspect.
About a minute later, the distant train horn is heard as officers search Rios-Gonzalez’s truck for weapons. The train’s horn sounds a few more times before the officers finally react to the oncoming locomotive – but by then it was too late.
“Stay behind!” one officer screams a few seconds before the collision.
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Another officer is seen fleeing the rails just before the train collided northwards with a passenger in a Platteville police car.
“The most disturbing thing to me is that I can hear the train coming,” said KMGH Paul Wilkinson, a female personal injury lawyer. “And it’s at night, and the train has lights too, so you can both hear and see the oncoming train.”
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 has undergone surgery, nine broken ribs, a broken sternum, broken teeth, injuries to her leg, back and head,” Wilkinson said, noting that his client remained in the hospital but is now able to sit. and have a conversation.
One of the Platteville policemen involved in the incident was placed on paid administrative leave awaiting an investigation, police chief Carl Dwyer said in an email from the Denver Post.
The Fort Lupton Police Department investigates the road rage report while the Colorado state patrol investigates the accident. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is also investigating Rios-Gonzalez’s injuries while she was in police custody.
With News Wire services
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