Colorado woman struck by train while trapped in police cruiser sues


A woman who was struck by a train while trapped in the back of a Colorado police cruiser is suing the department alleging its officers failed to keep her safe.

Yareni Rios-Gonzalez filed the lawsuit Thursday in Weld County District Court against three officers and the Platteville Police Department for “failing to protect Plaintiff from being hit by a freight train while in custody.”

Rios-Gonzalez suffered broken ribs, a broken arm and a broken sternum, as well as a head injury, in the Sept. 16 incident.

That night, multiple officers responded to a report of a road rage incident involving a firearm in Fort Lupton. Platteville police Sgt. Pablo Vazquez stopped Rios-Gonzalez’s car just past a set of railroad tracks and parked his patrol vehicle on the crossing. The officers then handcuffed the 20-year-old and locked her in the back seat of the patrol vehicle on the tracks.

The train struck the parked vehicle, launching it nearly a half mile off the track. The train weighed 11,153 tons at the time of impact, according to the lawsuit.

Prosecutors charged two officers in connection to the crash.


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