9 injured after car hits students outside California school

A pickup truck ran into a group of students who were crossing a street outside a California high school on Wednesday, leaving nine people injured and backpacks and clothing strewn across an intersection.

The accident occurred shortly after school ended for the day at Hemet High School, Riverside County fire officials said in a statement.

Three people were in critical condition and five more were taken to hospitals with minor injuries. Those injured included the driver of the truck and at least five students, officials said.

Witnesses told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that a white Ford Ranger went straight through a right-turn only lane and ran a red light before hitting students who were in a crosswalk leading to a student parking lot and the school football stadium.

Backpacks and clothing were strewn near the school following the crash, NBC4-TV reported.

School activities director Al Fernandes said his 17-year-old daughter was among those hit. He told the newspaper the girl was conscious and talking but extremely sore at Moreno Valley Regional Medical Center.

Hemet is a desert community about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles.