An 18-year-old man whose pickup truck plowed into a crowd of Hemet High School students at a crosswalk outside the school, injuring several teenagers, when the vehicle's brakes malfunctioned will not face criminal charges, the District Attorney's Office announced today.
"Further investigation revealed that the pickup driven by ... Daniel Carrillo actually was slowing as it approached the area where the pedestrians were struck," according to a statement issued by the Riverside County D.A.'s office. "The vehicle's brakes apparently malfunctioned, and the driver was actively trying to stop the truck before the pedestrians were hit."
Eight students and an unidentified man were in the pickup's path. Three suffered moderate to severe injuries and were hospitalized, while the others were either treated at the scene or at a hospital for minor injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.
"While no criminal charges will be filed, the matter has been referred back to the CHP for the issuance of a traffic citation to the driver related to the mechanical issues with the pickup," according to the D.A.'s statement.
The mishap occurred on the afternoon of May 30 at Stetson Avenue and Bulldog Way at a pedestrian crossing that connects two parking lots. A traffic light is in operation at the location.
CHP Officer Darren Meyer said at the time that Carrillo, of Hemet, was westbound on Stetson and failed to yield for a red light, driving straight into the victims.
Meyer said Carrillo, uninjured, got out of his 1994 Ford Ranger immediately after hitting the pedestrians and tried to help.
The young man was carrying two passengers, neither of whom was hurt.