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A Reckless Act of Endangerment: The Unfortunate Fate of Yareni Rios-Gonzalez

October 19, 2023

In a horrifying turn of events that unfolded on September 16, 2022, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, a woman involved in a road rage incident, found herself in a life-threatening situation. The actions of two police officers, Jordan Steinke and Pablo Vazquez, culminated in a horrific train collision that left Rios-Gonzalez severely injured and forever changed.

The incident began when Rios-Gonzalez was accused of pointing a gun at another driver and became the subject of a high-risk traffic stop led by Officer Vazquez. He pursued her to a rural road that intersected with U.S. Highway 85 and dangerously parked his patrol car directly on the train tracks. Officer Steinke arrived to assist and made the grave error of placing a handcuffed Rios-Gonzalez in the back of the parked police vehicle.

Unaware or dismissive of the immediate danger, the officers’ attention was elsewhere when a Union Pacific train, its horn blaring, barrelled towards the patrol car. Rios-Gonzalez sustained multiple injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, from the terrifying impact.

The incident was tried before Judge Timothy Kerns, where Steinke faced charges of criminal attempt to commit manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and third-degree assault. The court found her guilty of reckless endangerment and assault but acquitted her of the attempt to commit manslaughter. Steinke’s defense hinged on her claim of being unaware of the imminent risk, asserting she had been focused on the potential threat Rios-Gonzalez posed.

Officer Vazquez faces charges of reckless endangerment, careless driving, and parking where prohibited. The Weld County District Attorney’s office, after careful consideration, is proceeding with these charges deemed most fitting for the gravity of his actions.

The devastating ordeal underscores the necessity of responsible and alert policing, where the safety of those in custody is paramount. Rios-Gonzalez, having survived this traumatic incident, is now embroiled in a legal battle for justice and accountability.

At Jordan Law, we express our profound sympathy to Yareni Rios-Gonzalez and her family during this trying period. The grave misconduct and oversight displayed by Officers Steinke and Vazquez are not only alarming but indicative of a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of those they are sworn to protect.

We understand the physical, emotional, and psychological toll this harrowing experience has inflicted upon Ms. Rios-Gonzalez. Our dedicated team of legal professionals is committed to seeking justice and ensuring that such an egregious violation of trust and duty does not go unanswered.

We strongly encourage Yareni Rios-Gonzalez and her loved ones to reach out to Jordan Law for comprehensive legal support. Our expert attorneys are prepared to provide compassionate, personalized, and aggressive representation to navigate this complex legal landscape and secure the accountability and compensation that is rightfully theirs.

In these moments of despair and injustice, you are not alone – Jordan Law stands ready to be your unwavering advocate.

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