Newly released video footage of a train slamming into a Platteville Police Department cruiser shows two officers searching a nearby pickup truck for a gun as the train approaches and a third officer running for safety just before the crash — which seriously injured a woman in police custody who’d been left in the back of the vehicle.
The woman, who was handcuffed in the backseat, was seriously injured when the train struck the patrol vehicle parked on railroad tracks near U.S. 85 and Weld 38, north of Platteville. The wreck happened just after 7:30 p.m. Sept. 16.
The woman, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, 20, of Greeley, was hospitalized with multiple injuries. She is expected to survive, the CBI said in a Monday news release. No one else was injured.
A Platteville police officer stopped Rios-Gonzalez after Fort Lupton police received a report about a road rage incident involving a gun. Rios-Gonzalez pulled over just past the railroad tracks, and the Platteville police officer stopped behind her car with this patrol vehicle on the tracks, a CBI news release said.
Fort Lupton police body camera footage shows two Fort Lupton officers arriving to provide backup to the Platteville police officer. They coax Rios-Gonzalez from her pickup truck, handcuff her and put her in the back of the Platteville patrol car. The footage was obtained by The Denver Post through an open records request.
The Platteville officer and one Fort Lupton officer then search the pickup truck for other people and weapons. As they discuss whether or not Rios-Gonzalez might have tossed a gun from her truck, a train’s horn can be heard in the distance. But it takes the two officers almost 10 seconds to realize it, the video footage shows.
One officer screams an expletive as they realize a train is coming and turn toward the patrol car with Rios-Gonzalez inside.
The other Fort Lupton officer, who was standing near the Platteville patrol vehicle with Rios-Gonazlez inside, turns back and forth a couple of times as the train approaches, police camera footage shows. He ultimately turns and runs for cover behind a Fort Lupton police car.
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The footage shows the train slam into the Platteville vehicle — one of its passenger-side doors still open — and push it several yards. The officers immediately called for help.
“Get us medical emergent. The suspect was in the vehicle that was hit by the train,” an officer said into her radio.
The crash remains under investigation by three agencies.
The Fort Lupton Police Department is investigating the original road rage incident. The Colorado State Patrol is investigating the crash between the train and the police car, and CBI is investigating how Rios-Gonzalez sustained injuries while in police custody.
Staff writer Jacob Factor contributed to this report.