Driver of SUV That Hit CA Recruits Charged with Attempted Murder

Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, was charged with attempted murder on a peace officer with additional charges pending.

The driver of an SUV who hit 25 Los Angeles County sheriff's and police recruits, five of which were critically injured, Wednesday was arrested on attempted murder charges, authorities said. 

Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, a 22-year-old Diamond Bar resident, was charged with attempted murder on a peace officer with additional charges pending, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement

Authorities did not give an update on the victims of the Wednesday morning crash in Whittier, USA Today reports. Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said in a Wednesday press conference one of the five critically injured was on a ventilator. Some of the most severe injuries included head trauma, broken bones and loss of limbs, he added

Gutierrez reportedly blew a 0.0 on a sobriety test at the scene, USA Today reports.

Gutierrez had marijuana in the SUV and may have been intoxicated at the time of the crash, KTLA/Los Angeles Times reports.

Academy Capt. Pat McDonald said eight of the recruits running in the group were wearing reflective vests, and the entirety of the class was being monitored by two safety vehicles, Fox News reports. 

In footage of the incident, an SUV can be seen barreling toward the class before striking into the recruits and a light pole on the side of the road. 

"Thank God for that light pole, because the vehicle ultimately hit it and stopped, as opposed to possibly hitting more recruits," McDonald said.  

The recruits immediately rendered aid to their injured colleagues while they waited for paramedics to arrive.

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