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Officer charged after woman hit by train while in police car makes court appearance

Platteville Officer Pablo Vazquez, who parked his police car on train tracks during a traffic stop, is facing multiple misdemeanor charges.

GREELEY, Colo. — Four months after a Colorado woman survived being hit by a freight train, one of the officers blamed for playing a role in the case made his first court appearance.

Tuesday afternoon, Platteville Police Officer Pablo Vazquez appeared in Weld County court for the first time on misdemeanor charges. The court hearing was mostly procedural to set a court date for his arraignment. 

On Sept. 17, Vazquez pulled over Yareni Rios Gonzalez on suspicion of road rage off Highway 85 near Fort Lupton.  During the stop, he parked his car on train tracks. 

Fort Lupton Police Officer Jordan Steinke, who assisted in the traffic stop, placed Rios Gonzalez in Vazquez’s police unit. Shortly after, a freight train hit the police vehicle with Rios Gonzalez inside. 

Rios Gonzalez, now 21, survived her injuries and has been going through intense physical therapy, according to her attorney. 

Steinke faces two felony charges. His next court appearance is set for March 2.

Both officers have declined to comment to 9NEWS about their cases. 

Rios Gonzalez has taken the legal steps to file a lawsuit, while Weld County prosecutors have filed a felony menacing charge against her in the road rage case. 

Rios Gonzalez has claimed she feared for her life during an encounter on the road with a man who told police she pointed a gun at him. 

If you have any information on this case or would like to send a news tip, you can contact jeremy@9news.com.

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