Vehicle hits students in Paramount; 19-year-old driver arrested

Four students were injured today near Paramount High School when they were struck by a pickup truck whose 19-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving.

Witnesses stated a pickup truck traveling southbound on Downey Avenue at a high rate of speed hit another car, lost control, tracked into a sidewalk and hit four Paramount High School students who were standing behind the parking lot gate.

"It was during dismissal time, unfortunately when all of our kids were making their way home," said Paramount Unified School District Superintendent, Dr. Ruth Perez.

"You can see that the trick knocked sections of the iron fence and there were students on top of the iron fence," said Gerald Cedra who rushed to the school to make sure his son and nephew, who attend the school, were okay.

All four victims, three females and one male, were taken to a local hospital.

Paramount Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ruth Perez said three of students were in stable condition and one of them was undergoing surgery Monday night, but was expected to be okay.

The driver of the truck, 19-year-old Saul Martinez was arrested and booked on charges of Felony Reckless Driving. The sheriff's department said there were no symptoms of impairment by Martinez.

Perez was relieved everyone survived the crash, but hoped driver's would take the incident as a lesson to drove slowly and cautiously.

"This is what happens when people speed and there's no regard for the fact that this is dismissal time. There are obviously a lot of kids on the street and they are hurrying to get to their destinations. And not taking driving seriously this is what can happen."

Martinez was not suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It was unclear if he was a high school student and his place of residence was not immediately disclosed.