Beverly White and Sue Monroe
Trisha Telezinski’s 15-year-old daughter was in a “conscious coma” after being struck by a pickup truck driven by a fellow Hemet High School student. Nine people were injured as the 18-year-old student’s truck plowed through a red light and into a crowd of pedestrians. Investigators ruled out drugs or alcohol, but have impounded the vehicle for a mechanical inspection. Witnesses reported hearing the driver yell that his breaks had gone out. Beverly White reports from Hemet for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on May 30, 2012.
Nine victims, eight of them students, were hospitalized after a truck collided with a crowd outside Hemet High School Wednesday afternoon, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Three of those victims were in critical condition, including 15-year-old Helen Richardson, who was in a "conscious coma" and intubated, according to her mother Trisha Telezinski.
Daniel Carrillo, an 18-year-old junior at Hemet High School, was driving a modified Ford Ranger westbound on Stetson Avenue with his twin brother and 16-year-old friend in the vehicle, according to a statement released by California Highway Patrol Officer Darren Meyer.
They were travelling "at a speed greater than the 25 MPH school zone speed limit," Meyer wrote.
A group of about 30 pedestrians, including students, were crossing the intersection of Bulldog Way and Stetson Avenue when the truck failed to stop at the red light.
The truck collided into the group about 2:45 p.m. outside the school located at 41701 Stetson Ave. (map). Aerial video showed backpacks, bags and clothing strewn across an intersection outside the school.
CHP officials believe the truck may have had a mechanical problem and has been impounded for inspection.
Witnesses reported hearing Carrillo yell out, "My brakes have gone out," Telezinski said.
Drugs and alcohol have been ruled out as a factor, officials said, adding that criminal charges against the driver, if any, will be determined after the evidence has been examined.
"The driver stopped immediately after the collision to assist the victims," Meyer said in a statement.
Early reports indicated eight pedestrians were taken to the hospital, and at least five of the victims were students, according to CAL FIRE. CHP later clarified that nine people were hospitalized, eight of them students at the high school, which had just let out at the time of the crash.
Correction: The article incorrectly identified the driver as David Carrillo. At the time of the crash, Daniel Carrillo was operating the truck. His twin brother, David, and a friend were passengers.