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    Accused wrong-way driver faces felony charges in crash that killed LASD recruit in Whittier

    Nicholas Joseph Gutierrez, now 23, is facing one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and nine counts of reckless driving causing great bodily injury, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He also faces a misdemeanor county of vehicular manslaughter with simple negligence.

    He is expected to be arraigned Tuesday in Bellflower.

    One of them, Alejandro Martinez, 27, was severely injured and died July 28 at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood.

    Gutierrez was arrested hours after the crash and booked on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, but was released a day later with sheriff’s officials saying the complex case needed more extensive investigation.

    Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn issued a statement Thursday reacting to the charges, saying, “What happened to recruit class #464 on their morning run last year was a terrible tragedy that took the life of Alejandro Martinez and forever altered the lives of his fellow recruits. While it won’t bring Alejandro back, it is important that the driver be held accountable, and these charges are the first step. I appreciate our sheriff’s detectives and the District Attorney’s Office for their dedication to pursuing justice in this case.”


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