Nicholas Gutierrez was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer after he reportedly drove his SUV into the wrong lane and then crashed into a group of Los Angeles County law enforcement recruits as they exercised on a training run. Twenty-five recruits were injured, five of them critically.
The incident happened north of Los Angeles in suburban Whittier, Calif. The crash was described as “chaotic,” and authorities said it looked like an airplane wreck. Seventy-five recruits were running in a line accompanied by two black-and-white police cars and eight road guards wearing reflective vests as a safety precaution, sheriff’s authorities said.
Drill instructors, who are sworn deputy sheriffs, were also running with the group, but were not injured, said Sheriff’s Capt. Patrick Macdonald. “It is unprecedented that something like this would happen, when a vehicle would actually travel southbound and then cross oncoming traffic to the extreme east side to hit recruits,” Macdonald said.
Some of the recruits said they heard the vehicle accelerating. It was estimated to be going about 30-40 miles per hour, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said.