A Saturday night out turned tragic for four female Pepperdine University seniors when a speeding driver lost control and careened into their group. The students were meeting friends along a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in Malibu known to locals as a “dead man’s curve” due to frequent high-speed collisions.
Just after 8:30 p.m., Fraser Bohm drove his car over the 45 mph speed limit common on the winding coastal road. He swerved toward the shoulder, colliding with three parked vehicles before striking the young women. All four suffered fatal injuries at the scene.
Authorities accuse Bohm, 22, of “vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.” Released pending further investigation, he now faces charges. Though sustaining only minor wounds, the emotional scars will likely last much longer for all involved.
Capt. Jennifer Seetoo of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department commented that speeding tops the list of causes for PCH accidents. With Pepperdine just four miles away, the isolated area sees many students socializing along the scenic byway’s shoulder. But parked or walking, they remain vulnerable targets for inattentive drivers on the dark 55 mph route.
The University mourns the irreplaceable losses of seniors Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams. Cut down before achieving their dreams, the gifted young women left an emptiness in the tight-knit Pepperdine community. Counselors strive to soothe shattered hearts as questions linger over what might have been.
Will graduated driving programs and lower speed limits save future lives on the treacherous PCH? As four families grieve, pressure mounts for officials to take action on Malibu’s deadly coastal corridor.