Driver Charged With Three Murders In 5 Freeway Street Racing Crash
The driver whose street racing triggered a massive crash on the 5 Freeway that killed three last weekend has been charged with three counts of second-degree murder.
Along with the murder charges, Dealio Lockhart, a 35-year-old man from Whittier, was also charged with four counts of reckless driving on a highway causing injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Lockhart was arrested at the crash's scene, after confessing to CHP officers that he had been racing on the freeway. Prosecutors have requested Lockhart’s bail be set at $3.2 million. If convicted of all charges, Lockhart could face up to life in state prison.
Early Saturday morning, Lockhart was driving his Dodge Challenger on the 5 South through Commerce, close to the Washington Boulevard exit. While driving, he noticed another similar-looking car, a dark-colored Dodge Charger, and allegedly began to race on the freeway. Speeds reportedly reached 90 mph, as the cars weaved in-and-out of traffic.
But Lockhart lost control of his vehicle, crashed into a UPS semi-truck, and set into motion a fiery chain reaction crash that involved at least 7 other vehicles. While careening over the freeway’s center divider, the UPS semi sheared off the top of a Nissan sedan carrying four teenagers returning home from a day at Disneyland. The crash was so bad it required authorities to shut down the 5 Freeway in both directions for nearly 24 hours while investigating and cleaning up the wreck.
Two of the Nissan’s occupants were killed, 18-year-old Brian Lewandowski and 19-year-old Michelle Littlefield, along with the UPS truck driver, 52-year-old Scott Treadway.
The other driver remains at large. Investigators are searching for the car, but aside from an ambiguous description of a “dark-colored Dodge Charger” have little to work with.