Every morning, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) recruits depart from the Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Services (STARS) Center for a training run.
These highly qualified young men and women have been selected for an opportunity to join the LASD but they must get through the grueling training first.
On November 16th, 75 such recruits lined up as usual for their morning run in the crisp, cool air, ready to get their blood pumping on the several miles long jog ahead of them. Little did they know the horror that awaited them.
Wrong Way Driver
The LASD recruits set out on their jog in four columns with eight road guards wearing reflective vests and running on the outside edges of the group. This is to provide high visibility for drivers on the road and potentially an early warning system if a driver makes a wrong move.
All of the recruits were wearing high visibility shorts and shirts to make it even easier to be spotted.
As the group made their way along the usual route a Honda CRV veered into the lane the recruits were running in. With mere seconds of warning, the driver rammed the group and sent recruits flying.
The vehicle is estimated to have been traveling at about 40 miles per hour on impact with the runners. There were no skid marks at the scene, indicating that there was likely no attempt to slow down.
Fortunately, the vehicle struck a light pole before it could travel further into the columns, but sadly about 25 recruits were ran over before the vehicle came to a stop.
While a few recruits at the very front were able to dodge the car, most of the front ranks were not so lucky.
“They had zero warning,... Thank God for that light pole because the vehicle ultimately hit it and stopped as opposed to possibly hitting more recruits.”LASD Captain Pat MacDonald
Los Angeles County Fire Station 96, only a block away from the accident, heard the crash and responded quickly. There were also several LASD deputies, part of the training cadre, running with the group as well.
About 20 response vehicles were on scene within moments, which was instrumental in saving several of the recruit's lives.
A total of 25 were injured, 5 of them remain in critical condition. There were multiple broken bones, head trauma, and reports of a "loss of limb" injury as well.
Please send prayers that everyone involved would recover quickly!
Caught on Tape
The driver, an unidentified 22-year-old man from Diamond Bar, is believed to either have been under the influence or may have purposefully attacked the LASD recruits.
However, as of this time, there is no confirmation of either scenario.
The incident was caught on tape by a camera across the street. Be warned, it is not for the faint of heart: