Accident in Los Angeles: a vehicle ran over 25 police cadets

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Five people were seriously injured, four with moderate injuries and 16 with minor injuries. The authorities are investigating whether it was an intentional act

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Los Angeles crash: 25 police cadets struck by vehicle

An investigator walks past a wrecked SUV that struck Los Angeles County Sheriff recruits Los Angeles in Whittier, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The driver of a car changed lanes and ran over dozens of Los Angeles County Police Academy recruits who were running in formation during a training exercise Wednesday morning, injuring 25 of the cadets, authorities said.

< p class="paragraph">The most serious injuries included head trauma, broken bones and “loss of limb,” Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. He said five people were seriously injured, four with moderate injuries and 16 with minor injuries.

A vehicle ran over a group of police cadets

So far, it looks like it was an accident, a horrible accident,” Villanueva said.

Sneakers and backpacks were scattered on the floor. There was also a 25 mph speed limit sign nearby.

“There were so many bodies strewn everywhere in different states of injuries that it was quite traumatic for everyone involved,” he said. Villanueva.

Los Angeles Crash: Vehicle Hit 25 Police Cadets

Investigators gather near an SUV that struck Los Angeles County Sheriff recruits Los Angeles in Whittier, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 (ABC7 Los Angeles via AP)

Around 75 recruits, from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and various local police agencies, were running in formation on the street just before 6:30 a.m. in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier when the driver swerved into the wrong lane and struck joggers before crashing into a light pole.

“Thank goodness for that utility pole, because the vehicle eventually hit it and came to a stop, rather than possibly hitting more recruits,” said academy Capt. Patrick Macdonald.

The driver was only identified as a 22-year-old man from suburban Diamond Bar who suffered a minor injury. The sheriff said a field sobriety test on the driver was negative.

California Highway Patrol Deputy Chief Charlie Sampson, who is leading the investigation into the crash, said authorities < b>they were looking at everything from an intentional act to drink driving.

The course the recruits were taking was in its eighth week and they had 14 remaining more weeks.

Accident in Los Angeles: a vehicle ran over 25 police cadets

A speed limit sign sits near an SUV that struck Los Angeles County Sheriff's recruits in Whittier, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“Personally, I am very sad,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, adding that she was focusing on the cadets who were injured to get ahead.

The recruits ran in four columns with two black-and-white radio cars and eight “road guards” in reflective vests, Macdonald said. They had completed about 1.5 miles of a typical 3.5-mile training run and were wearing white T-shirts and green shorts, he said.

The officers received help from a police station nearby county firefighters, but they also immediately transported some of the most seriously injured directly to hospitals, possibly saving their lives, said county fire chief Anthony C. Marrone.

“Our hearts go out to the Los Angeles County recruiters injured this morning while training to serve their communities,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “Jennifer and I send our best wishes for her recovery and support her loved ones and colleagues at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department during this difficult time.”

(With information from AP)