What we know about the victims and driver in the crash that hurt 25 sheriff’s recruits on June 12
It’s been two months since the crash that injured 25 students at the California Community Colleges, and it took sheriff’s deputies days to extract those students from the rubble. But what we do know makes it hard to believe that the accident was inevitable.
First, the sheriff’s deputies involved in the crash had been in the department 18 months before the crash. They were certified deputies from the sheriff’s office and were in training to become officers. A former sheriff’s officer was a teacher whose students had attended the college that was hosting the graduation ceremony.
The deputy who reported the accident was a captain in training. He learned to drive by driving with school students. He was driving a school official car (white Ford Focus) when he was involved in a collision. His car was damaged and he lost consciousness. He was taken to a hospital by a family member.
He told deputies he was driving for another school and the parents of the students in the car told deputies that they had no idea who the driver was. When they showed him their school ID, he said he was an instructor.
The first person to come forward was a member of the sheriff’s department. Someone who worked at the college told the Los Angeles Times that the head of security for the college also contacted deputies and said the accident was in his name and that he had asked deputies to take the injured student to the hospital, suggesting he wanted to make sure the student was in good hands.
Investigators say the college’s head of security contacted deputies the morning of June 12 and told them the driver of the white Focus should be in the hospital, and that he had a young woman with him. He also said he was the man and he drove the car.
The sheriff’s department has launched its own internal investigation of the accident. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Richard Dormer said earlier this week that the investigation was “in full swing,” and said the department would post its findings on its website once it had finished it.