HEMET (CBS) — In the days following a violent car crash outside Hemet High School, the 18-year-old driver claimed his pickup truck’s faulty brakes caused him to plow into a group of students in a sidewalk Wednesday. The California Highway Patrol argued Monday that it was the student’s reckless driving that caused the crash.
Daniel Carrillo, a junior at Hemet H.S., was going nearly 50 mph when he plowed into eight students and a 60-year-old woman just after school got out. He was reportedly driving a modified 1994 Ford Ranger as he allegedly ran a red light and plowed into a crosswalk on Stetson Avenue.
Three of the students hit were hospitalized in serious condition. As of Monday, one of those students — sophomore Helen Richardson — remained at the hospital in serious condition. Family members said her health was improving.
Carrillo, who ran a red light, claims his brakes failed before the crash. However, several witnesses say they heard his engine rev before the accident.
“That happens a lot around this school. They like rev their engine and they just go book it, so I honestly think he was just trying to be cool or whatever and then ended up hurting eight or 11 kids out there,” Samantha Clemens, who witnessed the crash, told CBS2.
Authorities haven’t issued any citations in connection with the crash. They say Carrillo stopped at the scene to help the injured students.
California Highway Patrol reportedly inspected Carrillo’s truck and surveillance video before determining that speeding was to blame for the accident.
The CHP has sent their findings to the district attorney’s office, who will decide whether Carrillo will face charges.