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Passenger ejected, seriously hurt when RTD light rail train derails in Aurora

Eyewitness: 'This isn't going to be pretty.'
Posted at 2:34 PM, Jan 28, 2019

DENVER — A person was taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being thrown from an RTD light rail train that derailed in Aurora Monday morning.

The R Line train derailed at the intersection of South Sable Boulevard and East Exposition Avenue at about 7:15 a.m., according to Aurora police. The train had been going south on Sable and turning onto Exposition when it came off the tracks.

A passenger was ejected from the train and suffered a “serious bodily injury,” police said.

Officers didn’t provide any further details on the nature of the injury, but video from a witness at the scene showed someone being treated for injuries to a foot.

"Her foot was absolutely amputed off her leg," said Terry Edick, a passenger on the train when it derailed. "It was completely cut off."

Edick said he rides the train every day, and it was going way too fast.

"The driver never slowed the train down at all," Edick said. "This was a 90-degree turn and we’re going away too fast to do a 90-degree turn in a train. I looked up and I realized we were going too fast and I saw the stoplight on Exposition and I’m like, ‘This isn’t going to be pretty.’"

Edick was thrown from his seat.

Witnesses said the woman who was ejected was thrown out of her seat and up against the door. The hinges on the door then popped open, she fell out and one foot was caught underneath the train.

RTD said it's too early to tell what went wrong.

"It's really hard to speculate at this point," said Tina Jaquez, spokeswoman for RTD. "We really have to do a thorough investigation. This is obviously a very tragic incident and we feel terrible. Safety is our number one priority."

The woman ejected was stable at last check, according to police.

Other passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the derailment was caused by Monday’s snowfall. Police said weather and speed were both being investigated as possible factors.

The intersection was closed for several hours and train service was disrupted while police investigated and crews worked to get the train back on the tracks.