Witnesses Say Teen Was Racing Outside Hemet High School When He Drove Into Students

HEMET (AP) — A high school student in a pickup truck ran into a group of students who were crossing the street outside a Riverside County high school Wednesday, leaving eight people injured, and backpacks and clothing strewn across the intersection, officials said.

The accident occurred shortly after school ended for the day at Hemet High School, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Three people were in critical condition, five more were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, and two refused treatment, authorities reported.

The driver, a student at the school, ran into a group of eleven people who were in an intersection headed toward the student parking lot and the school’s football stadium, principal Emily Shaw said.

“The kids were in the crosswalk doing everything right,” Shaw said.

Seven of the people struck were students, and the eighth person was a 60-year-old woman, Shaw said. Her relationship to the school was not clear.

Witnesses told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that a white Ford Ranger went straight through a right-turn-only lane and ran a red light before hitting the pedestrians.

The newspaper said the driver was detained by the California Highway Patrol.

The names and ages of those involved were not immediately released.

School activities director Al Fernandes said his 17-year-old daughter was among those hit. He told the Press-Enterprise the girl was conscious and talking but extremely sore at Moreno Valley Regional Medical Center.

Hemet is a desert community located approximately 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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