Social media influencer involved in fatal Malibu crash, sheriff's department says

ByABC7.com staff and Amy Powell KABC logo
Tuesday, July 9, 2024 6:41PM
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MALIBU, Calif. -- Social media influencer Summer Wheaton has been identified as the driver involved in a fatal collision in Malibu on the 4th of July, officials tell ABC Los Angeles affiliate KABC.

A preliminary investigation indicates a white Mercedes-Benz driven by Wheaton crossed the center median Thursday night on Pacific Coast Highway and collided with a Cadillac Escalade heading in the opposite direction, according to sheriff's department officials.

The man driving the Cadillac died at the scene.

A passenger in the Cadillac and Wheaton were taken to the hospital.

Authorities are still investigating the cause of the collision.

Wheaton, who has more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, describes herself as a speaker and wellness advocate and founder of a nonprofit.

The crash happened around 10:30 p.m. after Wheaton left an exclusive event at Nobu restaurant attended by hundreds of guests known as the white party.

"What I've seen is alarming and disappointing for professionals that run such a fine restaurant to not understand that the surrounding area is also affected by their activities," Jefferson Wagner told KABC.

Wagner owns a business across the street from Nobu. He brought photos to Monday night's Malibu City Council meeting showing some of the mess left on the side of the road by the limousines, buses and other vehicles that clogged the highway on the night of the party.

City officials say they had denied Nobu a temporary use permit to hold the event because the owners did not comply with conditions related to traffic and safety, but the restaurant did not cancel the party.

"The city attorney responded advising them that doing so would constitute a willful violation of the city's municipal code and would subject them to code enforcement action," Malibu city manager Steve McClary said at the meeting.

Malibu residents have been fighting for safety improvements following numerous deadly crashes along PCH, including a collision that killed four Pepperdine University students last October.

Malibu city leaders say the event at Nobu is being handled as a code enforcement case.