One of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruits hit by an SUV while on a training run last week was in grave condition, authorities said Sunday.  

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said recruit Alejandro Martinez “suffered setbacks that have left him in grave condition” from the incident. Three other recruits still remained hospitalized in critical condition, while the remaining 21 recruits have since been released from local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said last week some of the most severe injuries recruits suffered included head trauma, broken bones and loss of limbs, as well as one person who was placed on a ventilator. 

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Seventy-five recruits for the sheriff’s department and other local police departments were on a routine run the morning of Nov. 16 in Whittier when a driver, identified as 22-year-old Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez of Diamond Bar, plowed his SUV into the group. 

Gutierrez was subsequently charged with attempted murder of a peace officer with additional charges pending Thursday, before he was released from custody later that night “due to the extreme complexity of the investigation, which includes ongoing interviews, video surveillance review, and additional evidence needed to be analyzed,” authorities said. 

Gutierrez disputes allegations that crash was intentional

Villanueva said Gutierrez was not intoxicated based on the results of a field sobriety test done immediately after the crash. Villanueva said in an interview with NewsNation on Thursday investigators had “developed probable cause to believe it was intentional.”

In an interview with NBCLA, Gutierrez said the crash wasn’t intentional.

“They tried to say that I did it intentionally, which I didn’t. I kept on telling them I didn’t,” he told the outlet. “I wish it never happened. I feel bad it happened.”

Contributing: Associated Press 

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