The video shows the moment before the vehicle drove through 75 recruits from the Los Angeles County sheriff’s academy during training runs, leaving some of the 25 in critical condition.
The incident was described by Sheriff Alex Villanueva as “very strange” and “horrific” and occurred in Whittier on Wednesday morning. According to the sheriff, the recruits sustained injuries such as head trauma, broken bones, and a loss of limb. The driver, a 22-year old man who failed a sobriety exam with a 0.0, was taken into custody at the scene.
Villanueva said that it happened so fast that only those who saw it veer into their path, they jumped out of danger, but those behind were not able to do that because they had never seen it.” They didn’t get enough warning. They said that the accident looked like an airplane crash. The chaos that followed was chaotic. There were many bodies all over the place with different injuries.
Villanueva stated that the class was currently in its eighth week of a 220-week training program and that the incident is being investigated by California Highway Patrol. Five of the 25 injured recruits were critically, he said.
Academy Capt. Pat McDonald stated that eight recruits were wearing reflective vests and that the entire class was being watched by two safety vehicles.
The incident is captured on video. An SUV can be seen driving towards the class and then striking into the recruits as well as a light pole at the side of road.
McDonald’s said, “Thank God that the light pole was there, and the vehicle eventually hit it and stopped.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Wednesday night stated that they “hope for all parties to have a speedy and complete recovery.”
It added, “The Department would like thank the community for continuing to outpouring support and prayers for all those affected.”