On Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office charged a 23-year-old man for the Whittier crash that killed one law enforcement cadet and injured 24 others last year.
Prosecutors charged the suspect Nicholas Gutierrez with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine counts of reckless driving causing bodily injury.
If convicted, he can face up to 12 years in prison.
"Our rigorous 22-week training academy is challenging under normal circumstances. These recruits had to endure such a traumatic event in the middle of their training," said Sheriff Robert Luna.
The violent crash happened on Nov. 16, 2022, on Mills Avenue, just north of Telegraph Road. The California Highway Patrol said Gutierrez veered onto the wrong side of the road before crashing into a group of
The crash injured 25 recruits, four of whom were in critical condition and another was in grave condition.
All but one of the cadets recovered from their injuries enough to be discharged from the hospital.
Alejandro Martinez, 27, died at UCLA Medical Center after an eight-month battle with the severe injuries he
"He fought — I'm telling you he fought for eight months with his family by his side," said Luna. "We prayed and we wanted him to make it but sadly he did not."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department arrested Gutierrez shortly after the crash last year. Initially, deputies claimed that Gutierrez crashed into the recruits intentionally. Gutierrez's lawyer said his client fell asleep at the wheel.
He was eventually released due to a lack of evidence.
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