Car smashes into group of Los Angeles-area law enforcement recruits, injuring 25 people, 5 seriously



CNN

A 22-year-old drove a car into a group of recruits various law enforcement agencies in the Los Angeles County area on Wednesday, injuring 25 people, including five who are listed in critical condition, authorities said.

Four other recruits suffered moderate injuries, while 16 others suffered minor injuries, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release. The driver also suffered minor injuries, Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain Sheila Kelliher said. All were taken to local hospitals.

The crash appears to have been an accident, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said at a separate press conference Wednesday. “A horrible accident.”

The driver, who was going the wrong way, showed no signs of impairment, Villanueva said, and blew a zero during a breath test administered at the scene. There were no visible skid marks at the crash site, the sheriff said.

“It looked like plane wreckage – so many bodies strewn all over the place in different states of injury,” Villanueva said of the scene. “It was quite traumatic for all individuals.”

Kelliher initially said the recruits were all from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. But according to Villanueva, the injured include recruits from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, as well as the Pasadena, Glendale and Bell police departments. Recruits from the El Segundo and UCLA police departments were also present but were not injured.

The 75 recruits, all dressed in white t-shirts and green shorts, were taking part in what Captain Ted McDonald of the LASD Training Office described as a ‘typical run’ as part of the department’s 22-week training course . They were accompanied by two security vehicles and were traveling in four lines when they were hit, McDonald said.

The accident happened about 500 feet from a fire station, officials said. The four most seriously injured patients were immediately taken to hospital, Los Angeles Fire Chief Anthony Marrone said, likely saving their lives.

Kelliher said the incident was “hard to see because these young people are preparing to put themselves in harm’s way in their careers. And who knows while you’re training for that, you’re in harm’s way.

About Charles D. Goolsby

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