Pepperdine says four students killed in Malibu by Pacific Coast highway driver

Pepperdine University says four of its students were killed standing near the highway in Malibu, California, on Tuesday.

The four women were on the side of Pacific Coast Highway around 8:30 p.m. when a 22-year-old driver lost control of his sedan, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. The sedan crashed into three parked vehicles the women were standing between.

The women, later identified by the university as seniors Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams, were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said.

“Earlier today, we learned that four precious lives who brought joy and light to our campus were taken from us suddenly, tragically, and incomprehensibly,” Pepperdine President Jim Gash in a letter to the campus community

Pepperdine officials had earlier said they had reason to believe the women were students at its liberal arts college, Seaver College.

Malibu resident Fraser Michael Bohm was arrested and accused of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, sheriff’s Capt. Jennifer Seetoo said at a news conference Wednesday morning.

He has minor injuries and has been released as the investigation is being conducted.

Sheriff deputies at the scene where four women were killed in a multi-vehicle crash in Malibu, Calif., on Oct. 18, 2023.Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Pepperdine’s main campus overlooks Pacific Coast Highway.

Seetoo said the Pacific Coast Highway is “deadly” because people tend to drive recklessly on it.

“The leading cause of collisions on PCH by far is speed,” she said. “It is a town — it is a college town.”

Pepperdine plans to hold a prayer service at 10 a.m. Thursday and said planning for memorial services is underway.

“Each departed student brought a unique gift and spirit to the University, and we deeply grieve the unfulfilled hopes and aspirations of our precious community members,” Connie Horton, vice president for student affairs, said in a statement.

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