4 pedestrians dead in Pacific Coast Highway crash in Malibu, California; driver arrested

ByIrene Cruz KABC logo
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
4 fatally struck after driver loses control on PCH in Malibu
Four people were struck and killed after an out-of-control driver crashed into several parked cars in Malibu, authorities say.

MALIBU, Calif. -- A driver has been arrested after a car struck four women who were standing along the side of Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, authorities said. Several parked vehicles were also hit.

The crash was reported around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A male driver lost control of his vehicle and crashed twice into parked cars, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. When the driver hit the second set of parked vehicles, he fatally struck four female victims who were standing on the side of the road, authorities said.

Two other victims were rushed to a hospital in unknown condition.

The male driver was initially detained. A sobriety test was administered, and authorities said Tuesday night that drugs and alcohol did not seem to be a factor.

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On Wednesday morning, a sheriff's spokesperson said the driver was arrested. The suspect was not publicly identified, nor were the possible charges against him announced.

At least four vehicles were believed to be involved in the collisions.

Bodies were visible at the scene, along with severely damaged vehicles. The Los Angeles County Fire Department told ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC that speed was likely a factor in the crash.

"As soon as it happened I knew exactly what it was -- car accident. It's happened here a lot," Malibu resident Barron Miller told reporters at the scene.

Authorities are investigating whether two drivers may have been street racing at the time of the collision. Residents in the area say it has become a growing problem along that stretch of PCH.

"Since COVID there has been an increase of incredible racing up and down this highway, all night long," Joan Zoloth of Malibu said. "People in the community have complained and are really concerned. And then you have something like this."

Part of Pacific Coast Highway remained closed Wednesday morning, with no estimate of when lanes would be reopened.

"This one's tough. There's just a lot of carnage, just metal carnage," L.A. County Fire Capt. Sheila Kelliher Berkoh said. "Anytime you come and there's four bodies that didn't survive, that's a tough one to watch."