Driver hits 22 LA County sheriff’s recruits, critically injures 5 of them

WHITTIER, Calif. — A car struck 22 Los Angeles County sheriff’s recruits on a training run around dawn Wednesday and five were critically injured, authorities said.

A total of 23 people were injured, including the driver, said Los Angeles County Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Sheila Kelher.

In addition to the five who were critically injured, there were four with moderate injuries and 14 with minor injuries. The driver, reportedly a 22-year-old male, was among those with minor injuries, she said.

The crash occurred around dawn Wednesday in suburban Whittier, where the department’s STAR Explorer Training Academy is located.

TV news helicopter broadcasts showed a large response of firefighters and ambulances, a vehicle on a sidewalk as well as numerous individuals nearby in uniform workout clothes.

A Sheriff’s Department statement said a recruit class was hit by a vehicle at about 6:26 am during a training run. The car involved was traveling in the wrong direction, and the impact was enough to knock down a light pole.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva told the Los Angeles Times the cadets typically run in formation, with road guards and a vehicle out front. The sheriff said it was unclear whether they were wearing high-visibility gear.

About 40 of the recruits were running as a group.

“We don’t have a cause,” Kelliher said. “We do not have any other information on how the driver lost control, so at this time that is the basic information that we can share with you.”

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