Ex-Colorado Police Officer Sentenced After Leaving Handcuffed Woman In Car Struck By Train

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Kate Hirzel Contributor
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Former Colorado police officer Jordan Steinke was sentenced Friday to 30 months of supervised probation and 100 hours of public service for her part in a September 2022 train crash.

In 2022, officers responded to a road rage incident involving then-20-year-old Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, according to a press release. Rios-Gonzalez had pulled her vehicle just beyond the train tracks at a railroad crossing, prompting the officers to stop their police cruiser on the tracks behind her. 

Steinke handcuffed Rios-Gonzalez in the police cruiser, which remained on the tracks while the police were clearing her vehicle until it was struck by a train. Steinke was fired from the Fort Lupton Police Department after being convicted of reckless endangerment and assault due to the train crash, CBS reported. She was acquitted on a third charge of attempted manslaughter. (RELATED: Teen Shot And Killed By Police After Allegedly Killing Police Dog)

Rios-Gonzalez, who is still suffering the effects of a brain injury, expressed a desire for an apology letter from Steinke during the sentencing, but the judge emphasized that any apology must be sincere and not court-ordered, CBS reported.

Another officer, Sgt. Pablo Vazquez, also faces charges for his role in the crash. Vazquez is accused of parking his cruiser on the train tracks during the stop. His trial is pending, with the next court appearance set for December, CBS reported.

Vazquez had previously faced criticism from colleagues, with some labeling him as “incompetent” and expressing concerns about his “dangerous lack of radio awareness.”

Steinke’s probation terms include a prohibition on firearm possession. She’s slated to report to probation on Monday, September 18th, CBS reported.