Eight Hemet High School students and another pedestrian were injured earlier this week, three critically, when a pickup truck driver ran a stop light and hit them in a crosswalk in front of the school.
The victims were struck about 2:40 p.m. Wednesday on Stetson Avenue at Bulldog Way, which connects the school parking lot to another lot adjacent to the school's football stadium across the street. There is a traffic light at the location with a clearly marked pedestrian crossing.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Darren Meyer, 18-year-old Daniel Carrillo, a junior at Hemet High, was driving the white 1994 Ford Ranger that struck the pedestrians.
Carrillo was going west on Stetson, traveling in excess of the posted 25 mph speed limit, and "failed to stop at the red light" despite the fact that around 30 people were crossing the street in front of him, Meyer said.
The pickup plowed into nine pedestrians, eight of them -- six girls and two boys -- Hemet High students, according to Meyer.
Witnesses told the Press-Enterprise that they could hear bones crunch as the driver plowed over the screaming students.
Authorities said three victims were taken to Riverside County Regional Medical Center in critical condition, and six went to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
Meyer said Carrillo stopped to help immediately after hitting his schoolmates. Alcohol or drugs did not play a part in the incident, according to the officer.
Carrillo and his two passengers were not injured, and he was not arrested. However, the investigation is continuing, and Carrillo's vehicle was impounded for an examination, according to Meyer.
—City News Service