The County of Los Angeles will fly flags at half-staff on county property in honor of Alejandro Martinez, who died last week, eight months after a driver plowed through a group of law enforcement recruits in South Whittier.
On Nov. 16, 2022, Martinez and dozens of other law enforcement recruits, primarily Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department cadets, were on a training run when a wrong-way driver crashed into the group, injuring 25.
Martinez was among the most seriously injured, suffering broken legs, brain swelling and internal bleeding from the crash. On Friday, eight months after the horrific crash, the Army veteran and LASD recruit died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
On Monday, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors chair Janice Hahn ordered all flags at county facilities to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the fallen deputy recruit.
“Last year, when we started a new effort to recruit more Sheriff’s deputies, Alejandro Martinez answered our call,” Hahn said in a news release. “His passing, months after that terrible crash, is nothing short of a tragedy. Our county owes Alejandro a great debt of gratitude we can never repay.”
Nicholas Gutierrez, 22, of Diamond Bar, has been identified as the driver of the SUB that plowed into the crowd of recruits.
Some authorities have accused him of intentionally targeting the group of recruits. His attorney has argued that he fell asleep at the wheel.
All but 10 of the recruits were from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, with some from the Bell, Glendale, Pasadena, El Segundo and UCLA police departments.
A procession took place late Friday night as deputies and law enforcement escorted Martinez’s body from the hospital to the L.A. County Coroner’s Office in Boyle Heights.
The flags will remain at half-staff until all memorial services have completed, Hahn said.
Additional reporting by Vivian Chow.
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