As TFTP reported last week, a 20-year-old woman is fighting for her life in the hospital and a Platteville police officer has been placed on leave after one of the most irresponsible law enforcement actions TFTP has ever reported on. The woman was locked in the back of a police cruiser, left on train tracks, and unable to escape the speeding train that was coming her way. After we reported the original story, investigators have since released the video from that night.
The Fort Lupton Police Department released body camera and dashcam video over the weekend, showing Yareni Rios-Gonzalez inside the patrol car—handcuffed—as it was hit by the train.
According to reports, officers were searching the woman’s vehicle, completely oblivious to the fact that a train was barrelling down the tracks. As they rifle through Rios-Gonzalez’s personal effects, a train horn is heard before it plows into the side of the cruiser sending it flying more than 30 feet into an adjacent field.
An attorney hired by the family of Rios-Gonzalez, Paul Wilkinson told WMUR that his client was trying desperately to escape but she could not.
“When she was in the back of the car, she was able to see the train coming,” Wilkinson said. “She was frantically trying to escape, trying to open the doors, but she was handcuffed.”
As officers remained oblivious to the train, Rios-Gonzalez tried to warn them, screaming and banging to get their attention. Unfortunately, they didn’t hear her or care to pay attention to her.
“I don’t know if they just couldn’t hear her or if they were too busy searching her car, but she saw it coming and prepared for the worst,” he said. “And as you can imagine, lost consciousness and woke up at the hospital. She’s obviously very upset.”
As we reported last week, police received a call about an alleged road rage incident involving a firearm. The 20-year-old woman’s car allegedly fit the description from the caller and a high-risk traffic stop was conducted. The stop was high-risk because it took place in the middle of a railroad crossing.
Two Ft. Lupton officers reportedly stopped the woman just past the tracks as the Platteville officer pulled up behind her, leaving his cruiser parked directly on the tracks. As the officers detained the woman, they handcuffed her and placed her in the back of the Platteville officer’s car—still parked on the train tracks.
Instead of moving the patrol car off the tracks, the officers instead began clearing the woman’s car first. As they were moving the woman’s car from the road, however, a train traveling northbound came barrelling down the tracks and plowed into the cruiser with the woman unable to escape.
Rios-Gonzalez was essentially locked in her own coffin and remained helpless as the train demolished the cruiser. Denver 7 reports Rios-Gonzalez was taken to the hospital where she remains with a “significant brain injury.” She reportedly broke nine ribs, suffered a broken arm, broken teeth, and multiple severe head injuries.
Fortunately, Rios-Gonzalez is expected to survive.
Below is the video.
This article was originally featured at The Free Thought Project and is republished with permission.