On November 16, 2022, police arrested a man for plowing dozens of police recruits on their morning run. However, they released him after two days due to a lack of evidence. Let’s explore the details of the horrific accident with Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys.
According to the Los Angeles County sheriff’s office, the law enforcement recruits were on their training run, joined by safety vehicles and instructors, when a Honda CR-V sped down the wrong way and plowed through the 75 recruits resulting in car accident carnage.
The accident resulted in 25 recruits being injured. Injuries included head trauma, broken bones, and loss of limbs. Five of the 25 recruits were in critical condition, 16 sustained minor injuries, and others suffered moderate injuries.
During a news conference Wednesday, the LA County Sheriff stated that the accident looked like an airplane wreck with so many bodies scattered at the scene. Most of the recruits were from the LA County sheriff’s department, while others came from the nearby police departments.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s office arrested the 22-year-old man, Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, over suspicion of attempted murder. However, because of the case’s complexity, the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department released the man as prosecutors gathered more evidence.
Although the driver had 0.0 BAC when the officers took a breathalyzer test and he cleared the field sobriety test, the charges of attempted murder on the peace officer followed after witnesses stated that the car was accelerating.
In a civil case, the standard for the burden of proof is the preponderance of the evidence, where the plaintiff must show that the evidence is more likely than not. On the other hand, the standards are much higher in a criminal case.
Under criminal law, the prosecutors must provide substantial evidence to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The court cannot prosecute the defendant if there is even a slight doubt among the jurors.
The homicide investigators who have released the 22-year-old man are working on building a strong case by collecting relevant evidence before they can charge him with criminal negligence.
In civil cases, the burden of proof is much lower. If a prosecutor cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, holding them accountable for the damages in civil courts may be possible.
If you lost a loved one due to another’s negligence, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation, as you may be eligible for compensation.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.