Colorado police have released videos showing a train hitting a police cruiser in which a detained suspect was handcuffed.
The Fort Lupton Police Department released body camera and dashcam video on Friday showing Yareni Rios-Gonzalez inside the patrol car that was hit by a train. Rios-Gonzalez is hospitalized with multiple injuries but is expected to survive, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations said.
The newly released video of the September 16 incident shows Rios-Gonzalez – a suspect in a road rage case – asking why she was pulled over as she is handcuffed and put into a cruiser that was parked on railroad tracks, yards behind her truck.
Rios-Gonzalez is left in the vehicle alone as officers search her truck, checking to see if anyone else was in her car before searching it for a weapon.
Minutes later, a train horn is heard and officers express alarm as the train barrels into the cruiser, crumpling the side and pushing it dozens of feet into a field. Officers can be heard on the video calling for medical assistance.
Paul Wilkinson, an attorney for Rios-Gonzalez, told CNN Saturday that she was desperate to get out of the vehicle as the train approached.
“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.”
Rios-Gonzalez tried to get out of the cruiser on her own and attempted to get the attention of officers by screaming, Wilkinson said.
“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.”
Rios-Gonzalez sustained multiple injuries, including nine broken ribs, a broken arm, broken teeth and injuries to her head, according to Wilkinson. As of Saturday, she remained in the hospital.
Prior to the crash, body cam video shows officers searching the truck for weapons while discussing whether or not Rios-Gonzalez might have thrown a gun out a window before she pulled over.
“Did you see her toss anything?” one officer asked.
“She could have because when I was behind her she was driving slow enough that she could have tossed something back,” responded another officer, as the sound of the train horn was heard in the distance.
Officers later found a gun in the center console of the car that Rios-Gonzalez was driving after having also retrieved a bullet and a holster from the vehicle, according to the video.
The vehicle that was hit was a cruiser from the Platteville Police Department, which was assisting with the traffic stop. Platteville Police Chief Carl Dwyer said the officer who parked on the railroad tracks has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the CBI. Neither police department has identified any of the officers involved in the incident.
Fort Lupton police say the case they were pursuing against Rios-Gonzalez has been referred to the Weld County District Attorney.
Krista Henery with the Weld County District Attorney’s Office told CNN on Saturday that “everything is still being investigated and no charges have been filed for the suspect/victim or any officers.”