GRAPHIC: Woman hit by train while in police cruiser parked on tracks

Published: Sep. 24, 2022 at 2:55 AM EDT
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PLATTEVILLE, Colo. (KMGH) – A freight train collided into a police cruiser parked on train tracks with a woman trapped inside.

Locked inside the cruiser was 20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez. Police detained her for an alleged road rage incident earlier in the night Sept. 16.

About one minute and nine seconds after Rios-Gonzalez was placed in the back, the train’s horn is heard for the first time in the distance on a newly released bodycam recording.

About seven seconds later, another louder horn but still no reaction from police.

Over the next eight seconds, even more horns are heard before the two officers realize Rios-Gonzalez is in danger. By then it was too late.

Paul Wilkinson, a personal injury attorney representing the woman, said she is awake and able to have a conversation but remains in the hospital.

“She has a broken arm that she has had surgery on, nine broken ribs, a fractured sternum, broken teeth, injuries to her leg, back and head,” Wilkinson said.

Many questions remain, including why the officer parked the cruiser on the tracks and why it took critical seconds to notice the approaching train.

“The most alarming thing for me is that you can hear the train coming,” Wilkinson said. “And it’s at nighttime, and the train has lights also, so you can both hear and see the train coming.”

Wilkinson says Rios-Gonzalez heard and saw the train coming well before officers did, but she could do nothing to save herself.

“She was trying to get their attention,” her attorney said. “She was yelling. She was trying to escape.”