LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Charges have been filed against a wrong-way driver who plowed his SUV into a group of Los Angeles County sheriff's recruits in Whittier last year, a crash that killed one recruit.
Nicholas Gutierrez, 23, was re-arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury, prosecutors said Thursday.
In November 2022, 25 law enforcement recruits were injured during a training run in Whittier after an SUV swerved into the opposite side of the road and slammed into the group. The recruits suffered injuries ranging from minor to critical.
Eight months after the crash, one of the recruits, 27-year-old Alejandro Martinez, died from his injuries.
Gutierrez was initially arrested but was released with sheriff's officials saying the complex case needed more extensive investigation.
"By bringing formal charges against Nicholas Gutierrez, the legal system takes a significant step towards seeking justice in this heartbreaking incident," District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. "The aim is to provide a sense of justice and accountability for the lives lost and the lives forever changed as a result of this tragic event."
Gutierrez surrendered Thursday afternoon and was released on $500,000 bond within two hours, according to online jail records. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday at the Bellflower Courthouse.
His attorney Alexandra Kazarian said in a statement her client and his family continue to cooperate with law enforcement in the case.
"Nicolas and his family are beyond devastated about this horrifically tragic accident," the statement read.
If convicted as charged, Gutierrez will face a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, according to prosecutors.