Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

CHP investigates why Hemet student drove into classmates

May 31, 2012 | 10:25 am

The California Highway Patrol was trying to determine Thursday what caused a Hemet High School student to plow into a group of classmates with his pickup truck in a busy crosswalk that left eight injured, three critically.

Officials said they were reviewing surveillance video, interviewing witnesses and performing a full mechanical inspection on the 1994 Ford Ranger. Criminal charges have not been filed against 18-year-old driver Daniel Carrillo, a junior at the school.

"We need to analyze all the evidence to determine if the driver will be charged," said CHP Officer Darren Meyer.

Carrillo was driving his pickup truck with his twin brother and a friend inside Wednesday when class let out at Hemet High, CHP officials said. About 30 students were crossing an intersection from the main campus to the student parking lot when Carrillo failed to stop at a red light, they said.

He was driving faster than 25 mph in a school zone when his truck struck a large group of pedestrians in the crosswalk, they said.

Witnesses told The Press-Enterprise they saw the truck switch into the right-turn lane that leads into the parking area. But instead of making the turn, witnesses said they heard the truck accelerate and go straight.

Students said they could hear bones crunch and victims screaming as the truck hit the crowd, the newspaper reported.

“He revved the throttle like crazy. We heard the RPMs build,” student Alex Bissett told the paper. “I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff, but this tops it."

Eight students were injured, including three critically. All the victims remained hospitalized, but have "received good prognosis," Meyer said.

Authorities said drugs and alcohol were not a factor in the collision. The pickup was impounded by the CHP and will undergo an inspection to rule out any issues with the vehicle that could have prompted the crash, he said.


10 Hemet High students hit by car in front of school

Eight hurt at Hemet High when truck plows into crowd

Driver ran red light before hitting Hemet High students, CHP says

-- Angel Jennings