Wrong car seriously injures 5 sheriff’s recruits in Whittier

Five Los Angeles County Sheriff’s cadets were seriously injured Wednesday morning when a driver rammed a large crowd of people on the run in Whittier, authorities said.

Sergeant David Yoo said the accident happened near the Sheriff’s Training Academy, near Mills Avenue and Trumball Street. Recruits are members of the STARS Explorer Academy.

Dispatchers received a call at 6:26 a.m. about a crash involving a pedestrian, Deputy Brenda Serna said. The cause of the accident is under investigation, she said.

Sheriff Alex Villanueva confirmed 10 cadets were shot.

Los Angeles County Fire Chief Sheila Kelliher said 22 recruits were on the run when the crash occurred. Five people are in critical condition.

Kelleher said the recruit was running along Mills Road when he was shot.

The cadets typically run in small groups on the streets, with road guards and following vehicles, Villanueva said. It is unclear whether they were wearing any high-visibility gear at the time of the crash.

“It makes me sick when I hear [about] It,” supervisor Janice Hahn told KABC-TV. “I just hope and pray they all get through this. “

Footage from KTLA-TV shows what appears to be a small SUV with a dark-colored vehicle on the pavement with a badly damaged front end. A collapsed light pole lay on the ground in front of the car.

Video showed a dozen ambulances arriving on the scene, where firefighters placed green, yellow and red triage pads to indicate the severity of the injuries.

The 22-year-old driver of the car has been taken into custody, authorities said. Kelleher said the car went the wrong way. She didn’t know the driver’s condition before the crash, but noticed his car knocked down a headlight pole, “so there was some speed in there.”

“It does appear that the car did not slow down,” Hahn said.

The driver was also taken to the hospital with injuries, Kelleher said.

This is a breaking news story that will be updated soon.

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