6 Students and Brea Police Officer Hurt in Collision

Times Staff Writer

Six Esperanza High students were injured Tuesday in front of the campus when their sport utility vehicle collided with a van driven by a police officer assigned to patrol the Anaheim school.

According to police, the six students were in a Ford Explorer heading west as they left a parking lot at the high school about 2:55 p.m., the end of the school day for many of the 2,800 students enrolled there.

Police said the students, whose names were not released because of their ages, cut in front of the unmarked police van, driven by Brea Police Officer Irene Cruz, who was heading north on Kellogg Drive.

The van hit the Explorer broadside, according to police, and two students were thrown from the vehicle.

Those students were taken to Western Medical Center in Anaheim, but the extent of their injuries was unknown.


David Verdugo, assistant superintendent of the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District, said that “our first impression is that their injuries were not life-threatening.”

Cruz was also taken to an area hospital; her condition was not released.

The other students were taken to Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center. Three were treated and released; the condition of the fourth was unknown.

School officials and student-services workers were at the scene to explain the presence of police cars and ambulances to other students, Verdugo said.

Cruz is a resource officer provided by the Brea Police Department for safety and patrol duties at the school. The Anaheim Police Department also provides a resource officer at the school and will investigate the accident because the school is within the Anaheim city limits.

Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez said it is too early to determine how fast either of the vehicles was going and whether any charges would be filed.