Vehicle strikes and injures 25 LA County sheriff’s recruits on training run

A vehicle struck a group of Los Angeles County sheriff’s recruits while they were out for a training run early Wednesday in Southern California. The recruits were in the midst of a training run in Whittier, Calif., when they were struck around 6:26 a.m. PST, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said in a post on Facebook.

California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Charlie Sampson said about 75 recruits were running in formation northbound in the street when the southbound vehicle veered into the opposing lane and struck the victims. Those who were at the front of the formation could see the vehicle coming and were able to get out of the way, while those behind couldn’t see and took the brunt of the impact.

Authorities said 25 people were injured in the crash, including the driver, and that five recruits were in critical condition. In addition to the five who were critically injured, there were four with moderate injuries and 14 with minor injuries. Officials said Wednesday at a press conference that the driver — identified as a 22-year-old man from Diamond Bar, California — was going the wrong way on the road. According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, the driver passed a field sobriety test and “blew a 0.0 on a breathalyzer … So, the cause of the accident, motive, anything, is unknown at this time.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement: “Our hearts are with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits injured this morning while training to serve their communities. Jennifer and I send our best wishes for their recovery and stand with their loved ones and colleagues at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department during this difficult time.”

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