WELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — New video was released on Monday showing the moments after a train crashed into a Platteville Police Department patrol vehicle with a woman detained in the back seat.
The woman, identified as Yareni Rios-Gonzalez in the police report, was accused by another driver of flashing a firearm at him. She could potentially face charges for felony menacing, but as her attorney told FOX31, she has yet to be formally charged.
What led up to the train crashing into the patrol vehicle?
Investigators said the officer stopped Rios-Gonzalez in connection to an alleged road rage incident on Sept. 16 in Fort Lupton. The incident allegedly involved a gun.
When another two officers from Fort Lupton arrived, they detained Rios-Gonzalez on suspicion of felony menacing and put her in the back of the police vehicle.
The patrol vehicle was parked on the tracks, which can be seen on body camera video.
The video also showed an officer standing on the tracks, looking in the direction of the train. The officer then walks off the tracks and the train crashes into the patrol vehicle.
Newly released body camera footage
After the crash happened, first responders arrived on scene to help. FOX31 obtained the newly released body camera video Oct. 10 showing the moments following the crash.
While emergency crews were helping Rios-Gonzalez, they also attempted to help the officer who had his patrol vehicle hit. The officer told emergency crews he didn’t need help because he wasn’t in the car. They proceeded to ask him what happened.
“I pulled her over right there and I had my unit on the tracks, and we got her out and put the handcuffs on her and put her in the car and the train just caught the side of my car,” the officer said.
One of the first responders said, “so you are not injured at all?”
The officer responded, “no, we just want to get her out, like soon.”
“I did not have time to move my patrol car,” the officer said a few minutes later. “I feel so bad.”
As first responders worked to rescue Rios-Gonzalez from the patrol vehicle, the officer continued to explain what happened.
“I thought I had cleared the tracks, but apparently not because the train hit my car,” the officer explained. “I’m really concerned for her.”
“I’m just a little shook up right now because I saw the whole thing,” the officer could be heard saying on body camera video. “The Lupton officer goes, ‘train train train,’ by the time I turned around I couldn’t even go to my car and get out of the way.”
The officer said that he thought that the train was going to clear his car, but it didn’t.
Rios-Gonzalez had to be extricated from the patrol vehicle.
Paul Wilkinson, attorney for Rios-Gonzalez, told FOX31’s Vicente Arenas that Rios-Gonzalez was seriously hurt but is expected to survive. She has nine broken ribs, a broken arm and a fractured sternum just to name a few of those injuries. Despite all her injuries, she is making progress.
The police officer whose patrol car was hit by a train has been placed on leave pending an investigation.
The family of Rios-Gonzalez said they plan to file a lawsuit, claiming negligence and a violation of her civil rights by police.