Angels – More than 20 people were injured after they were run over on Whittier Street early Wednesday morning.
The incident occurred near the Sheriff’s Training Academy, located at the 11000 block of Colima Road in Whittier, shortly before 6:30 a.m.
Firefighters identified the victims as Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits in a training exercise. Witnesses said recruits often trained in the neighborhood and were running when they were hit by an SUV.
Twenty-five recruits were wounded, five of them critically. Other injuries ranged from minor, including the driver, to moderate. County firefighters initially said 22 recruits were injured, but the sheriff’s department has updated that number to 25.
“Tragedy has struck our department,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva told a news conference.
On the street, green, yellow and red mats have been installed for the intervention protocol, which indicate the seriousness of the injuries.
Firefighters at Station 96 heard a loud bang after seeing recruits pass by the fire station, authorities said during a press conference on Wednesday morning.
“After hearing of the incident, they immediately responded with 20 response vehicles,” said Capt. Sheila Kelleher of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
The sheriff’s department said the driver crossed lanes and hit recruits who were running in formation. The driver, 22, of Diamond Bar, was arrested at the scene.
An investigator from the department said the incident is under investigation for a possible DUI.
County Supervisor Janice Hahn said the victims make up about half of the current class.
Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement regarding the incident.
“We stand with the injured Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits this morning as they train to serve their communities,” Newsom said. “Jennifer and I send our best wishes for his recovery and the support of his loved ones and colleagues with the LA County Sheriff’s Office during this difficult time.”
The Newly elected Los Angeles County SheriffRobert Luna also expressed concern about the case of the run over bailiffs.
“I am saddened and praying for the recruits who were injured this morning after a vehicle collision in Whittier. I want to extend my heartfelt support to the sheriffs, police chiefs of the Los Angeles County agencies and their departments, and the families of those injured at this difficult time,” Luna said in a statement.
The The school The only injured recruit to attend is one of two pre-academic training sites in Los Angeles County.
Programs include physical training and academic sessions. Participation in the program is voluntary and you are not required to become a trainee deputy sheriff.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is asking anyone with information about the crash to contact investigators at 562-868-0503.
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