Four Pepperdine University students died and two others were hospitalized in a multi-car crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Tuesday night.
The wreck happened on the 21600 block of PCH in an area known to locals as “Dead Man’s Curve.” The university identified the victims as Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir, and Deslyn Williams, all seniors at the school. The county coroner’s office said they were all 20 years old.
“To the students who loved, lived with, and were in community with the departed members of our Pepperdine family, my heart is broken with yours,” Pepperdine President Jim Gash said in a written statement to the university community. “I join you in your grief as we process this profound loss.”
The four victims are believed to be students in the Seaver College of Liberal Arts at Pepperdine University, the school tweeted Wednesday. A
The victims were walking or standing on or near Pacific Coast Highway when they were struck by the driver, investigators said.
A 22-year-old man was arrested Wednesday. He was identified as Fraser Michael Bohm, of Malibu
The University is aware of a fatal accident that occurred on Pacific Coast Highway yesterday, October 17, 2023. Following initial reports from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the University has reason to believe the four individuals were Seaver College Students.
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“This corner up here is called ‘Dead Man’s Curve’ and has notoriously always been a situation, an area that has gotten…people don’t understand that they need to slow down around that curve and they lose control,” a woman who lives in the area said. “That’s what happens and it’s pretty sad.”
NBC4’s NewsChopper4 helicopter showed at least one vehicle on its side. A large presence of police officers and firefighters were at the scene and PCH was shut down from both sides in the immediate area for the investigation.
One witness said the sound of the impact was loud and frightening.
“It sounded like an earthquake or a bomb or a meteor,” he said.
Law enforcement did not release details on the deceased, such as their name, age or gender.
Pepperdine University released a statement Wednesday morning. The school’s Malibu campus is about 5 miles west of the crash scene.
“After receiving the tragic news of a fatal accident near the Malibu campus last night, Pepperdine University has reason to believe the four individuals who were killed on Pacific Coast Highway were Seaver College students,” the school said in its statement. “The University is in contact with authorities and will assist with the notifications of family members when appropriate. Our community has experienced a tremendous loss and encourages everyone to prioritize their health and well-being. The University is providing spiritual and emotional support, including from the counseling center, from the pastoral care team, and the student care team.
“In this time of immeasurable grief and unimaginable heartache, we stand together as a community and turn to our faith and each other for comfort in the midst of despair.”