Teens Coming Home From Disneyland, UPS Driver ID'd As Victims In 5 Freeway Crash
All three victims killed in the fiery crash on the 5 freeway early Saturday morning have been identified—two of them teens coming home from Disneyland and the third a truck driver for UPS.
California Highway Patrol officials say the chain-reaction crash, which happened early Saturday morning just after midnight, was believed to be caused by two cars racing on the 5 freeway in Commerce. The two cars were racing in the southbound lanes near the Washington Boulevard exit when one of them, a Dodge Challenger, lost control and hit a UPS big-rig, causing the truck to crash into the center divider and go airborne. The truck sheared the top of a Nissan Sentra going northbound before coming to rest on top of a Ford Explorer.
The truck driver, identified as Scott Treadway, and two teens in the Nissan, identified as 19-year-old Michelle Littlefield and 18-year-old Brian Lewandowski, were all pronounced dead at the scene by CHP officials. The driver of the Dodge Challenger, 35-year-old Dealio Lockhart, was arrested at the scene and admitted to street racing, reports the L.A. Times. The driver of the other vehicle, a dark-colored Dodge Charger, remains at large.
Michelle Littlefield's parents told NBCLA that Littlefield and three of her friends were on their way back home from a day at Disneyland when the crash happened. "I'm sorry this happened to both of us. We would never want any of this," her father, William Littlefield, told the station. "Michelle would be disappointed she was killed. But she would never hold any ill will."
The other teen sitting in the backseat with Littlefield was identified as 18-year-old Brian Lewandowski, whose father, Victor, is a lieutenant in the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "Brian was an incredible young man and every parent's dream for a son. We are absolutely devastated by our loss," Lewandowski's family said in a Sheriff's Department press release. "Our hearts go out to the other victims and their families and our prayers are for the survivors' recovery. We are very thankful for the love and support of family and friends throughout this time."
Lockhart faces three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while the other street racing driver remains at large. Officials are pleading for the driver of the Dodge Charger to turn hims or herself in. "You got to do the right thing, turn yourself in," CHP Officer Charles Chu told KTLA. "There are plenty of families out there hurting because of this person's actions."