A Hemet High School student driving a 1994 Ford Ranger pickup ran a red light and plowed through a crosswalk crowded with approximately 30 students, sending eight to area hospitals, three in critical condition. Six females (three age 15, two age 16 and one age 17) and two males (one age 15 and one age 16) were transported. All were Hemet residents.
Parents were also in the vicinity, given that school was letting out, and watched with horror as the truck, driven by 18-year-old Daniel Carrillo, mowed down students. The incident happened at 2:40 p.m., Wednesday, May 30, on Stetson Avenue, just past the intersection with Bulldog Way.
According to the California Highway Patrol report, Carrillo was traveling at speeds greater than permitted in the 25 MPH school zone.
The California Highway Patrol’s inspection of the truck concluded that there was no mechanical problem that could have contributed to the incident. “CHP investigators are in communication with the Riverside County District Attorney’s office regarding the filing of criminal charges against Carrillo,” said Darren Meyer, CHP public information officer. “The exact violations and their severity have yet to be determined.” Meyer noted that Carrillo had a valid driver license, but that he had only held it for 15 days prior to the May 30 incident.
Hemet Unified School District Trustee Bill Sanborn confirmed that the three most seriously injured students are expected to recover. Sanborn also noted that several Hemet High students from Idyllwild narrowly escaped injury given their proximity to the truck’s destructive path.
As of Monday, June 4, all but one student have been released from hospital. The still hospitalized female student, a Hemet High sophomore, remained in serious condition at Riverside County Regional Medical Center. Family members indicate she is making progress, according to the CHP press release.