MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- Fifty-six recruits were sworn in as Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies, including some who were struck by a wrong-way driver during a training run in Whittier last year.
Sheriff Robert Luna swore in Academy Class 464 during a ceremony Friday morning held at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park.
Twenty-five law enforcement recruits were struck by an SUV last November during a training run and suffered injuries ranging from minor to critical. Twelve were so badly injured they had to leave the academy.
The crash came just seven weeks into the program.
"You saw some tears, and I think it's tears of joy and maybe a little PTSD from what happened that day," Luna said after the ceremony.
Alex Martinez, a 27-year-old Army veteran and graduate of Cal State Northridge, is still in critical condition. Martinez was sworn in Friday as a deputy, with the sheriff presenting his badge to his sister and father. His family says he is fighting his way back.
The driver, Nicholas Gutierrez was initially arrested. Then-Sheriff Alex Villanueva said he intentionally drove into the recruits, but Gutierrez was later released due to insufficient evidence.
No charges have been filed.
Multiple police chiefs attended the ceremony and boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard made a special guest appearance to speak with the graduating recruits.