MALIBU, Calif.—Four women who were killed in a horrific crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu are believed to have been students at Pepperdine’s Seaver College of Liberal Arts, the university announced Oct. 18.
The crash occurred about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 21600 block of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), according to the sheriff’s department. The victims were found at the scene, along with several severely damaged vehicles, and a 22-year-old man was arrested. That person has not been identified.
PCH was closed in both directions between roughly Las Flores Canyon and Carbon Canyon roads through the night and into the morning rush hour as authorities continued to investigate what led to the devastating collision that killed the four women who were believed to have been walking in the area when they were struck. The roadway was reopened shortly after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The women were not immediately identified, but Pepperdine University sent a message to the campus community saying they were believed to be students at the school’s liberal arts college.
“The university is in contact with authorities and will assist with the notifications of family members when appropriate,” according to Pepperdine. “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.”
KNX News reported from the scene Wednesday morning that there may have been a Pepperdine fraternity party in the area Tuesday night.
Sheriff’s officials were expected to give an update on the investigation at a midday news conference.
Initial reports from the scene indicated that the black BMW was being driven west on PCH when the driver struck multiple parked vehicles and slammed into the women who were walking or standing along the scenic highway.
The four women died at the scene. Two other people were taken to hospitals in unknown condition.
At least four vehicles were believed to have been involved. Video from the scene showed several heavily damaged vehicles, including one that was pushed onto its side.
It was unclear if the man who was arrested suffered any injuries in the crash. A Los Angeles County Fire Department captain told KTLA5 that speed was likely a factor in the crash, but it was unknown if the driver may have been racing at the time.
Anyone with information related to this crash was asked to call the traffic investigations office at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station at 818-878-1808.