No charges to be filed against driver of RTD R Line train that derailed, ejected passenger

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AURORA, Colo. — No criminal charges will be filed against the driver of the RTD R Line light rail train that derailed and injured several people during a snowstorm in January, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Aurora police were investigating 33-year-old Jeramiah Hartzell on nine charges, including first-degree assault, but the District Attorney decided not to file formal charges.

The District Attorney’s office said there was no evidence that “Hartzel was intoxicated, ill, or in any other way impaired in his ability to safely operate the train at the time he went on duty or at any other point while on duty.”

The office added that the law doesn’t apply to train drivers.

RTD said speed approaching a curve appears to be the primary factor of the Jan. 28 accident near South Sable Boulevard and Exposition Avenue that ejected one passenger and seriously injured others.

Witnesses at the scene said one passenger who was ejected had her leg severed.

RTD fired Hartzell after its investigation, determining he was not following safety protocol.

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