During a training run, a car going the wrong way accelerated into a group of 75 recruits from the Los Angeles County sheriff's academy, leaving 25 injured in critical condition. A video of the incident has since surfaced.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva called the incident "very odd" and "horrific," and it took place in Whittier early on Wednesday. The driver, a 22-year-old who failed a sobriety test and was arrested at the scene, suffered head trauma, broken bones, and "loss of limb," according to the sheriff.
"It happened so quickly that just the people that just saw it veer into them, they jumped out of the way, but the people behind had no chance because they never saw it," Villanueva described to reporters. "They didn’t have that sufficient warning. As soon as the accident happened, the chaos that ensued they said it looked like an airplane wreck, there were so many bodies scattered everywhere in different states of injuries."
According to Villanueva, the class was eight weeks into a 22-week training course, and the California Highway Patrol is currently looking into the incident. Five of the 25 recruits who were hurt in the group, he continued, were critically hurt.
Eight of the recruits in the group were wearing reflective vests, according to Academy Capt. Pat McDonald, and two safety vehicles were watching over the entire class.
Video of the incident shows an SUV barreling toward the recruits and colliding with them before hitting a light pole by 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 Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that it is "hoping for all involved to have a full and speedy recovery."