Driver Dies After Denver Airport Train Hits Van On Tracks

Posted 8:45 a.m. | Updated 1:30 p.m.

Aurora police say the driver of a van who was struck and killed by an RTD A Line train early Tuesday may have pulled in front of the oncoming train intentionally.

Investigators reviewed video footage of the collision that occurred at Chambers Road at 3:39 a.m. as the train made its first trip of the day.

"The video shows that the driver of the van entered the railroad tracks, prior to the gate signals actually activating," said Sgt. Chris Amsler with the Aurora Police Department. "The van stopped on the Union Pacific tracks. And as the A line train approached, the video shows the driver slowly pulled onto the A Line tracks and then was struck by the train."

Amsler said investigators won't make a final conclusion about what happened for weeks, if not months. Aurora police are leading the investigation, with assistance from RTD. The Federal Railroad Administration says they are also investigating.

The back of the van curled around the front of the train.

Rail service is interrupted, for now. The A Line train stops at the Peoria station and a bus is ferrying passengers on to DIA. The line has had problems with crossing gates since it opened last year.

RTD spokesman Nate Currey says that doesn’t appear to be a factor in this morning’s crash.

"We do know that the gates were working properly. We did have a flagger on site and an off-duty Aurora police officer, and they indicated that everything was working as normal," Currey said.

The off-duty officer tried to get the driver to move, Amsler said.

"He wasn't successful," Amsler said. "He actually had to run try to flee from the debris that was flying at him when the collision occurred."

The officer wasn't injured.

The collision injured four riders on the train. Amsler said. One was taken to an area hospital.

The driver's identity will be released by the Aurora Coroner's Office when next of kin have been notified, Amsler said.