An eastbound A Line train crashed into a passenger van at Smith and Chambers roads at 3:30am on Tuesday, February 14 according to multiple news reports. Front Porch photographer Steve Larson arrived at the scene about 7:15 and took these photos showing the gates down at the intersection and the demolished passenger vehicle that was carried about a quarter mile before the train stopped. Debris, including glass wrapped around the supporting post for the south side gate, are visible at the crash scene. According to local news reports the driver of the van was killed and four passengers had minor injuries with one taken to the hospital. Also, according to news reports, flaggers were at the intersection at the time of the crash.
The A Line is currently running from Union Station to Peoria in both directions and passengers are being transported between Peoria Station and the airport by bus.
UPDATE FEB. 15–Aurora police spokesman Chris Amsler has said the gates were working properly and the police are investigating whether the collision was an intentional act. Amsler says the driver entered the gated area before the gates went down, then stopped until the train was approaching and drove slowly onto the tracks in front of it.
RTD statement regarding video released by Aurora Police of Chambers crossing incident on Feb. 14
Denver (Feb. 16, 2017) – The Chambers crossing videos released by Aurora Police this morning of the tragic incident involving the University of Colorado A Line and a van on Tuesday show two different cameras angles. It is extremely important to note that the crossing’s ENTRANCE gates activate properly – behind the van that drove into the intersection and stopped – and well before the train enters the intersection and impacts the van. There are other angles that show the crossing’s EXIT gates, that also activated properly, by remaining open (to allow a vehicle that is inside the entrance gates to escape the intersection prior to the arrival of the train) and then the exit gates properly close. There is also a traffic signal near the EXIT gates that properly remains green after the ENTRANCE gates close, which lets the vehicle driver know they should get out of the intersection while the EXIT gates remain up. The distinction between the entrance gates versus the exit gates is very important otherwise it will likely give the absolutely incorrect impression regarding the proper functioning of the gates at that intersection.
The video, posted by the Aurora police, can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Hxmq52FOk