November 9, 2023
Media Relations Division
Man Charged With in Death of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Recruit, Injuring Other Recruits in Wrong-Way Crash in Whittier
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has made a significant announcement today informing the public that Nicholas Gutierrez now faces charges related to the fatal wrong-way crash that occurred in Whittier in November 2022. The crash resulted in the tragic death of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s recruit Alejandro Martinez-Inzunza and caused severe injuries to other recruits.
“Even after almost a year, the profound loss of Alejandro Martinez-Inzunza and the lasting impact on the injured recruits continue to deeply affect the community,” District Attorney Gascón said.
District Attorney Gascón expressed his office’s unwavering dedication to ensuring that justice is served for the victims and their families. “The Crimes Against Peace Officers Division will tirelessly pursue the case to provide the support and closure that they deserve,” he said.
“By bringing formal charges against Nicholas Gutierrez, the legal system takes a significant step towards seeking justice in this heartbreaking incident. 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.”
“The felony filings today are a step towards justice for the family of Deputy Alejandro Martinez and all the LASD Recruits who were injured, many of whom have life-altering injuries sustained because of this tragic incident,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. “The collaborative efforts among the California Highway Patrol Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team and our Homicide Bureau detectives illustrates our commitment and diligence in holding the individual accountable for this horrific incident.”
Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez (dob 05/26/00) is charged in case VA161723 with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine counts of reckless driving on a highway causing a specified injury.
Gutierrez is scheduled to be arraigned Nov. 14 at the Bellflower Courthouse.
On November 16 2022, 76 members of the LASD Academy Class 464 were on a training run on Mills Avenue at Bentongrove Drive, in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County near the City of Whittier, when Gutierrez, who was driving southbound on Mills Avenue, allegedly crossed into the northbound lanes and crashed in the group.
Twenty-five recruits were injured as a result of the crash, including recruit Alejandro Martinez-Inzunza, who was allegedly struck directly by Gutierrez’s vehicle. Having suffered severe injuries, he passed away eight months later on July 28, 2023.
Nine other recruits suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash.
The prosecution will recommend $500,000 bail.
If convicted as charged, Gutierrez will face a maximum sentence of 12 years.
The case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol Santa Fe Springs Office, CHP Southern Division Investigative Services and M.A.I.T. – Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau.