NewsCovering Colorado


Light rail operator likely facing charges following derailment in Aurora

Posted at 6:19 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-19 20:19:38-05

AURORA – The operator of the Regional Transportation District R Line train that derailed on Jan. 28th in Aurora is now facing nine assault charges.

According to Aurora Police, 33-year-old Jeremiah Hartzel is being held on the following charges:

  • One count of First-Degree Assault
  • Three counts of Second-Degree Assault
  • Five counts of Third Degree Assault

Reporting partner 9News in Denver said the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has yet to officially charge Hartzel. He was fired by RTD after the wreck.

On Monday, Jan. 28th, a snowstorm hit the Denver area, causing numerous wrecks across the city and its suburbs. The light rail train derailed as it approached a 90-degree bend in Aurora.

When the train derailed, a woman was ejected through the door and her leg was severed.

Reporting 9News said several other passengers had to be taken to area hospitals to be treated for minor injuries.

A spokesperson for RTD said the train was traveling at an estimated 30 miles-per-hour as it approached the bend. The drivers are trained to slow down to 10 miles-per-hour as they approach sharp curves.


Speed caused light rail derailment that severed woman’s leg

Passenger ‘ejected’ from light rail train in suburban Denver

Witnesses: Woman’s leg severed in Denver-area derailment