LA County flags lowered in honor of LASD recruit who died from wrong-way crash

Supervisor Janice Hahn Monday ordered that all county flags at county facilities be lowered to half-staff in honor of a sheriff's department recruit who died last week from injuries suffered when a wrong-way vehicle plowed into a group of trainees last November in Whittier

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: LASD recruit dies months after being severely injured in wrong-way crash: ‘He will forever live in our hearts’

Alejandro Martinez, 27, died Friday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood after an eight-month battle with severe injuries, sheriff's officials said.

"On November 16, 2022, Alejandro was struck by a vehicle as he trained with his partners from Academy Class #464 and fought for his life for the past eight months.  Today, Alejandro succumbed to his injuries," the LASD said in a statement issued late Friday. "Surrounded by his family, friends, Sheriff Luna, and other department members in support of his family, Alejandro has now gone to his eternal resting place. Tragically, he was not able to fulfill his calling of helping others.

"Our condolences go out to Alejandro's family, friends, and academy classmates. He will forever live in our hearts & never be forgotten. Words cannot express the extent of our gratitude to everyone who assisted, and continue to assist, and helped ease the burden of that very difficult day."

In a statement last week, Hahn said, "Last year, when we started a new effort to recruit more LASD deputies, Alejandro Martinez answered our call. His passing, months after that terrible crash, is nothing short of a tragedy. My prayers are with his family, his friends, and his fellow recruits. May he rest in peace."


Martinez was injured when an SUV swerved into a group of about 75 law enforcement trainees who were on an organized run at around 6:30 a.m. in the 10600 block of Mills Avenue, near Telegraph Road, just blocks from the sheriff's STARS Explorer Academy law enforcement training center in Whittier.

Sheriff's officials said the group of recruits was running in columns northbound on the roadway when the southbound SUV swerved to the opposite side of the road and plowed into the trainees, leaving a trail of injured bodies.

The crash injured 25 recruits, including Martinez, sheriff's officials said at the time.

The motorist who struck the cadets, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, 22, of Diamond Bar, told reporters in 2022 that he fell asleep at the wheel.

He was arrested hours after the crash and booked on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, but Gutierrez was released a day later with sheriff's officials saying the complex case needed more extensive investigation.