Yareni Rios-Gonzalez hit by a train while in a police car
A Platteville, Colorado police officer has should have been on leave after stopping a squad car on railroad tracks, bringing in a detainee and leaving the car and detainee behind, only to be hit by a freight train.
The prisoner who has since identified as a 20 year old Yareni Rios Gonzalez von Greeley, was in serious condition on Sunday. Denver FOX subsidiary KDVR reports that she is expected to survive.
That Denver Post reported this Platteville Police Chief Karl Dwyer “Did not reveal the name of the officer who was placed on paid leave” and “Refused to answer other questions about the incident.”
Denver NBC affiliate KUSA said Rios-Gonzalez was allegedly involved in a street riot incident at Fort Lupton.
Citing “police radio traffic,” KUSA said a 911 caller alleged that a woman in a silver Toyota Tundra truck pulled into the caller’s vehicle and “pulled a gun.”
Local officials at Fort Lupton and Weld County sheriff’s deputies were searching for the truck, which is said to have been traveling north on US Highway 85, KUSA reported. A Platteville officer said he saw what he believed to be the truck and stopped it near US 85 and County Road 38.
“The driver of the vehicle pulled up just past the tracks, with the patrolman behind the car on the tracks,” the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said in a statement obtained by Law&Crime.
Radio calls received by KUSA indicated officers were holding the suspect “at gunpoint.”
“Two ft. Lupton officers arrived at the scene and the team conducted a high-risk traffic stop and arrested a lone female inmate (age 20, Greeley) and placed her in the back of the Platteville squad car who was arrested on suspicion of a threatening criminal offense,” continued the CBI statement. “While officers were clearing the suspect vehicle as part of the investigation, a northbound train pulled into the PPD squad car.”
The collision resulted in a frantic call from an officer at the scene, according to KUSA’s retelling of the radio call.
“Dispatch, Lupton 346: Patrol car just got hit by a train,” the officer said.
“Dispatch, Lupton 346: get an ambulance [sic]’ the same officer – who was not the officer whose squad car contained the suspect – continued. “The suspect was in the vehicle hit by the train.”
“Copy,” the dispatcher replied.
Then the official turned on, whose car had apparently been a total loss.
“Just a note, we can’t open the unit’s doors and the female passenger is in my unit,” the officer said.
KUSA’s video of the scene showed a stereotypical narrow country road with no centerline and unpaved shoulders. The crossing was guarded by red stop signs and black and white “Crossbuck” level crossing signs.
However, markings on the pavement and an adjacent stop sign attached to a “CR 38” highway sign suggest the span is between the tracks and Highway 85 pretty short.
The CBI said the woman inside suffered “grievous bodily harm.”
The CBI is investigating Rios-Gonzalez’s injuries, the Fort Lupton Police Department is investigating what led to the first 911 call, and the Colorado State Patrol is treating the “traffic accident with serious injuries” that resulted from the train hitting the car, it said CBI.
A California-based police tactics expert told KUSA he “cannot understand” why the officer left his squad car on the tracks.
“Why didn’t you take the vehicle off the tracks?” asked Ed Obayashi, a California sheriff’s deputy, rhetorically for the latter television station’s follow-up report on the incident. “That will be the biggest question.”
According to KUSA, Obayashi said the officer should have ordered the suspect vehicle to move forward so his squad car could clear the intersection.
“Those who are in your custody, you have arrested them or they are in the back of your squad car, you have a duty of care on this issue,” the expert noted. “In other words, since you have taken control, physical control over them and their movements, you are, by definition, responsible for protecting them in any situation.”
According to KUSA, Obayashi predicted that a civil lawsuit was very likely.
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https://lawandcrime.com/police/victim-identified-and-colorado-cop-on-leave-after-freight-train-struck-squad-car-with-young-woman-inside/ Yareni Rios-Gonzalez hit by a train while in a police car