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A Colorado Woman Was Hit by a Train After Police Detained Her on Road Rage Allegations in a Patrol Car Left on the Tracks. Now Both She and Cops Face Charges.

A cop looks at a crumpled car at a railroad crossing.

An officer inspects a severely damaged vehicle at a railroad crossing where a squad car containing a detainee was struck by a freight train.

“Oh, fuck,” a Colorado police officer said on video as he realized that a woman detained in his presence was still in a patrol car as the vehicle was slammed into by an oncoming train over the summer. “Oh, fuck.”

Now, that Platteville Police Department officer and one officer from the Fort Lupton Police Department have been charged with crimes – and so has the woman who was hit by the train.

According to charging documents obtained by Law&Crime, FLPD Officer Jordan Steinke stands accused of one count each of criminal attempt to commit manslaughter, assault in the second degree, and reckless endangerment. Additionally, PPD Sergeant Pablo Vasquez stands accused of five counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of obstructing a highway or other passageway, careless driving, and parking where prohibited.

The woman who was in the patrol car as the train made impact, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, was charged with one count of felony menacing for allegedly pointing a gun at a man during the road rage incident that led to her arrest and detention on the September day in question.

“The driver of the vehicle pulled to a stop just past the railroad tracks, with the patrol officer behind the car on the tracks,” the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said in a report issued one week after the crash – drawing from over 20 hours of body-worn camera and dashboard camera footage. “Two Ft. Lupton officers arrived on the scene and the team conducted a high-risk traffic stop and detained a lone female occupant (age 20, Greeley) placing her in the back of the Platteville patrol car detained on suspicion of felony menacing. While the officers cleared the suspect vehicle as part of the investigation, a train traveling northbound struck the PPD patrol car.”

Rios-Gonzalez sustained serious injuries due to the crash.

The slate of charges against both officers are threadbare and conclusory in the terse documents filed in the 19th Judicial District by Weld County District Attorney Michael J. Rourke, a Republican.

Those charges, however, suggest that Steinke is presumed to be the officer who put the victim in the car parked on the tracks.

Moment before train hit patrol car containing Yareni Rios-Gonzalez.

Moment before train hit patrol car containing Yareni Rios-Gonzalez.

“Steinke unlawfully, feloniously, and recklessly caused serious bodily injury to Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, by means of a deadly weapon, namely: locomotive,” the information filed against the FLPD officer reads. The complaint also says the officer recklessly attempted to cause the victim additional harm – and death.

Vazquez, for his part, is accused of “unlawfully and recklessly” engaging in “conduct which created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury” to five separate people – including Steinke and Rios-Gonzalez. The PPD officer is also accused of various vehicle-related offenses.

Each of the defendants were issued summons and were not arrested, the DA’s office said in a press release announcing the charges and explaining why there are no mugshots or arrest affidavits.

“Because of the pending litigation, no additional information will be released at this time,” Rourke’s office added.

No court dates have been set for the defendants as of yet.

Watch video of the incident below:

[image via screengrab/KUSA]

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