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Eight hurt at Hemet High when truck plows into crowd

May 30, 2012 |  6:45 pm

Accident scene at Hemet High
A Hemet High student in a pickup truck plowed into other students in a crowded crosswalk Wednesday afternoon, sending people scrambling for safety and leaving at least eight people injured, according to the school principal.

Seven of the victims were students, and the other was an older woman who was in the crosswalk in front of campus with at least 50 other people. She and two students were in critical condition, Principal Emily Shaw said.

The woman was believed to be in her 60s, Shaw said. It's unclear what connection, if any, the woman has to the school.

"My students were crossing appropriately," Shaw told The Times. She said that the students had a walking man signal and that oncoming vehicles at the four-way controlled signal had red lights. 

The driver is 18, the California Highway Patrol said. His name was not released, but Shaw said he is a student.

The incident occurred about 3 p.m., just after classes had ended. Some students had their backpacks knicked by the truck as it barreled through the crosswalk on Stetson Avenue, Shaw said. 

"My kids are pretty devastated," Shaw said. "My kids saw the whole thing."

She said crisis counselors would be on campus Thursday. The CHP, which is investigating the incident, said it would release a statement later Wednesday.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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Photo: Officers at the accident scene in front of Hemet High. Credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5

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