On Friday, 56 recruits were sworn in as deputies for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, including some who were victims of a wrong-way crash in Whittier last year.
In November, about 75 recruits from various law enforcement agencies, including the LASD and Bell, Glendale and Pasadena police departments, were on a training run when an SUV struck the group, injuring 25 people, many of them LASD recruits.
Five of those hurt were critically injured when the vehicle allegedly driven by 22-year-old Nicholas Gutierrez hit the group.
Gutierrez was initially booked on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, but he was later released due to insufficient grounds to file charges.
Former Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who was in office at the time of the crash, said investigators believed the crash was intentional, though Gutierrez’s lawyer disagreed, saying her client fell asleep behind the wheel and the collision was inadvertent.
The LASD and L.A. County District Attorney’s Office have not yet responded to KTLA’s request for an update on the investigation.
The graduation ceremony took place on Friday at the Ingalls Auditorium, where Sheriff Robert Luna and chiefs from participating agencies swore in 56 graduates of Academy Class 464. Of the graduates, 46 are male and 10 are female.