California recruit hit by wrong-way driver in grave condition: LASD

One of the five Los Angeles County law enforcement cadets critically injured by an SUV while on a training run in Whittier last Wednesday has suffered setbacks and is in "grave condition," sheriff's officials said Sunday.

"Alejandro Martinez, has suffered setbacks that have left him in grave condition. Please keep him and his family in your prayers," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said on social media. 

Martinez has since been transferred to Ronald Reagan UCLA medical Center with serious head trauma, according to FOX 11's sources.

Four recruits remain in critical condition and all others have been released, officials added.

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In addition to the five who remain hospitalized, four had moderate injuries and 16 had minor injuries at the time of the incident. Twenty-five recruits in total were injured.

About 75 recruits, from the LASD and several local police agencies, were running in formation in the street just before 6:30 a.m. in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier when the driver veered into the wrong lane and struck the runners before crashing into a nearby light pole, authorities said.

The driver, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, of Diamond Bar, was released late Thursday. Authorities said a field sobriety test performed on the driver was negative.

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"Due to the extreme complexity of the investigation, which includes ongoing interviews, video surveillance review, and additional evidence needed to be analyzed, homicide investigators have released Mr. Gutierrez from the Sheriff’s Department custody," the LASD said in a statement.

Gutierrez had been in custody on $2 million bail on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer.

State law only allows authorities to hold a suspect in custody for 48 hours unless criminal charges are filed by prosecutors.

The charge of attempted murder of a peace officer requires evidence that the crime was intentional rather than that someone was mistaken or distracted or otherwise did not mean to commit the act. Since the crash, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has accused Gutierrez of intentionally hitting the cadets:

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.