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Officials reach $8.5 million settlement with Colorado woman who was left handcuffed in a police car that was hit by a train

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By Joe Sutton and Elizabeth Wolfe | CNN

Local Colorado officials have reached an $8.5 million settlement with a woman who was hospitalized in 2022 after being left handcuffed in a police SUV that was then hit by a train.

The city of Fort Lupton and town of Platteville, Colorado, agreed on the settlement with the victim, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, according to a release from the Fort Lupton Police Department. The settlement amount will be split equally between the town and city and paid by their insurers, according to attorney Eric M. Ziporin, whose office represents the city.

Rios, who was a suspect in a road rage case, survived the September 2022 collision but suffered nine broken ribs, a broken arm and other injuries.

“This voluntary settlement is to the mutual satisfaction of the parties, recognizes the gravity of this matter, and allows all parties to move forward,” the Fort Lupton police department said.

Fort Lupton police officer Jordan Steinke, who placed Rios in the vehicle, was found guilty last year of reckless endangerment and third-degree assault in the crash and was sentenced to serve 30 months of supervised probation and 100 hours of public service.

On the day of the crash, Steinke joined a traffic stop in which officers had pulled over Rios, who authorities said was suspected of brandishing a gun at another driver earlier in the evening. Steinke put Rios into the cruiser of Platteville police officer Pablo Vasquez, who had parked in the middle of a railroad crossing.

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