Nearly two dozen Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department recruits were struck by a vehicle during a morning jog early Wednesday morning, including at least five in critical condition, according to authorities.
The incident occurred in the South Whittier area along Mills Road around 6:30 a.m. Pacific Time during a training exercise. Whittier is located about 20 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
“It is hard to see, because these young people are getting ready to go put themselves in the line of danger in their career. And who knows that while you’re training to do that you are actually in harm’s way,” Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Sheila Kelliher said at a news conference. “So my heart goes out to all of them as they pursue this career. I hope that they all have speedy recoveries.”
Authorities have confirmed that the 22-year-old driver was traveling the wrong way when the collision occurred. The driver has reportedly been taken into custody and sustained minor injuries during the crash, according to Fox 11.
BREAKING: Mass casualty incident after a group of sheriff recruits out for morning run were hit by a car in Whittier.
At least 11 are in CRITICAL condition. @foxla
— Gigi Graciette (@GigiGraciette) November 16, 2022
A total of 22 recruits were reportedly injured. The group included about 40 recruits in total.
They were members of the STARS Explorer Academy, according to the Los Angeles Times. The incident occurred near the Academy’s training center. The Times also noted a report that the vehicle did not appear to slow down.
Numerous emergency vehicles were on the scene to attend to the injured recruits. A neighbor reportedly told the outlet that the group often jogged in the area and wore high-visibility vests.
This is a breaking story. Refresh for updates.