$10,000 reward offered in search for alleged street racer in triple-fatal 5 Freeway crash

COMMERCE >> The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has authorized a $10,000 reward for information leading to an alleged street racer who fled the scene of 5 Freeway crash in Commerce that left three people dead over the weekend.
The crash, which killed a UPS driver, a 19-year-old college student and the 18-year-old son of a homicide detective, took place just after midnight Saturday on the 5 Freeway, just north of Triggs Street, authorities said.
The crash was blamed on an illegal street race between a Dodge Challenger and a Dodge Charger, California Highway Patrol officials said.
The driver of the Challenger, 35-year-old Dealio Lockhart of Whittier, was arrested at the scene and has been charged with three counts of murder.
But the Dodge Charger he was believed to be racing, as well as its driver, remain at large, officials said.
In hopes of generating tips in the investigation, the Board of Supervisors approved a $10,000 reward this week for information leading to the capture and conviction of the second driver, Solis’ spokeswoman Rosa Santana said in a written statement.
Killed were UPS driver Scott Treadway, 52, of Mira Loma; 19-year-old Michelle Littlefield of Santa Clarita; and 18-year-old Brian Lewandowski of Santa Clarita.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the CHP’s East L.A. area office at 323-980-4600. Tips may also be submitted anonymously to L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

PHOTO courtesy of Caltrans

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Victims of triple-fatal 5 Freeway crash in Commerce identified; Whittier man accused of murder


CITY OF COMMERCE >> A Whittier man is accused of three counts of murder in connection with an alleged street racing crash on the 5 Freeway in Commerce early Saturday that killed a UPS driver, the son of a homicide detective and a young woman, authorities said.
Initially booked on suspicion of manslaughter, David Lockhart, 35, was being held on suspicion of three counts of murder Sunday, according to California Highway Patrol officials.
Lockhart was racing another car when he lost control of his Dodge Challenger on the southbound 5 Freeway near Triggs Street in Commerce just after midnight Saturday, striking a UPS truck and sending the big rig hurling over the center median and into opposing traffic lanes, CHP Officer Doris Peniche said. The UPS truck struck a Nissan sedan, shearing off the tops, as well as a Ford Explorer. The big rig burst into flames.
In addition to the three people killed, two other occupants of the Nissan were hospitalized with major injuries, and two more people suffered minor injuries in the crash, officials said.
The deceased young man and woman, both Santa Clarita teens, who were reportedly returning from a visit to Disneyland in a gray Nissan. Both were passengers.
0229_NWS_WDN-L-5FATAL-FOLOLos Angeles County coroner officials identified one of the victims from the Nissan as 18-year-old Brian Lewandowski.
Lewandowski was the son of Lt. Victor Lewandowski of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau, who investigates homicides throughout Los Angeles County, sheriff’s officials said.
“Brian was an incredible young man and every parent’s dream for a son,” the Lewandowski family said in a written statement. “We are absolutely devastated by our loss. 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.”
In addition to his father, Brian Lewandowski is survived by his mother, Jocelyn Lewandowski, and two brothers, sheriff’s officials said.
LITTLEFIELDThe young woman killed while riding in the Nissan was identified by her parents as 19-year-old Michelle Littlefield, a student studying business at College of the Canyons and an employee at Six Flags Magic Mountain, according to media reports.
The third victim was identified on a Teamsters Local 396 Facebook page as 52-year-old Scott Treadway of Mira Loma who had been with UPS for 30 years.
5FATAL-FOLO2“The Teamsters Local 396 Executive Board, Staff and Membership send our heartfelt condolences to the Family of our dear, departed Brother Scott Treadway, who we lost suddenly, in a tragic feeder accident last night. Scott was admired and loved by his friends and co-workers at UPS. We are still trying to come to grips with this horrible loss,” the organization posted. “We love and miss you Brother!”
Fellow teamsters held their meeting Sunday, “under such difficult circumstances,” in honor of Treadway, who worked out of a Cerritos UPS facility, according to the union chapter.
“The members honored Scott’s memory by sharing their thoughts and memories regarding Scott’s remarkable legacy as a UPS Teamster Brother,” Teamsters Local 396 wrote online.
The Dodge Charger Lockhart was allegedly racing, as well as it’s driver, had not been found Sunday, officials said.
Both directions of the 5 Freeway remained closed in the area of the crash through Sunday morning as officials made repairs to the damaged road surface and barriers, according to Caltrans and CHP officials.
According to county booking records, Lockhart was being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles pending his arraignment hearing, scheduled Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Anyone with information regarding the crash was asked to contact officers Fonseca or Flores of the CHP’s East Los Angeles area office at 323-980-4600.
— City News Service contributed to this report.

PHOTOS: Crash scene [ABOVE] courtesy of Caltrans; Photo of Brian Lewandowski, 18, of Santa Clarita [2nd FROM TOP] courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Photo of Michelle Littlefield, 19, of Santa Clarita via Facebook; Photo of Scott Treadway, 52, of Mira Loma via Teamsters Local 396 Facebook page.

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College student killed along with Marine in weekend crash in Downey identified

DOWNEY >> Authorities have identified a 21-year-old international college student from Japan who died along with a Camp Pendleton Marine in a pickup truck crash along the 5 Freeway in Downey over the weekend.
Kokona Ando, 21, of Rancho Santa Margarita was a passenger riding in the truck when it veered off the roadway and struck a tree about 4:50 a.m. Saturday along the southbound 5 Freeway, just north of Paramount Boulevard, in Downey, according to Los Angeles County coroner and California Highway Patrol officials.
Also killed was Samuel Tristan Flynn, 20, a U.S. Marine based at Camp Pendleton, who was driving the 2002 Dodge Dakota.
Another passenger, a 21-year-old Irvine woman, was also injured in the crash.
A family friend said Ando attended Irvine Valley College as an international student after arriving in the U.S. from Japan in January. It was Ando’s dream to live and study in California, the friend said.
The cause of the crash remain under investigation by the officers from the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs Office.

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Two killed, one hurt in Downey freeway crash

DOWNEY >> A man and woman died, and another woman was hurt, after their car veered off the 5 Freeway in Downey and struck a tree, authorities said.
The crash took place about 4:50 a.m. on along the southbound 5 Freeway, just south of Paramount Avenue, California Highway Patrol officials said in a written statement.
The driver, a 20-year-old Camp Pendleton man, along with his front passenger, a 21-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman, died at the scene, officials said.
The names of the man and woman were withheld pending notification of their families, said Mario Sainz, and investigator at the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner. It was not clear whether the driver was a member of the military.
A 21-year-old Irvine woman riding as a rear passenger in the truck was hospitalized with injuries described as moderate, officials said.
The 2002 Dodge Dakota was southbound at an unknown speed prior to the crash.
“For unknown reasons, (the driver) allowed his vehicle to veer to the right,” according to the CHP statement. “(The truck) crossed the right shoulder and left the roadway. It continued southbound over the soft dirt shoulder and collided into a tree.”
Anyone with information can reach the CHP’s Santa Fe Springs during normal business hours at 562-868-0503.

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Nightly closures of 5 Freeway begin in Santa Fe Springs, Norwalk

SANTA FE SPRINGS >> Caltrans is kicking off three weeks of overnight closures of both directions of the 5 Freeway in Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk Friday as crews demolish the old Carmenita Road Bridge as part of an ongoing construction project, officials said.
0711_NWS_WDN-L-BRIDGE2The entire 5 Freeway between Valley View Avenue in Santa Fe Springs and Rosecrans Avenue in Norwalk will be closed from midnight to 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, as well as from 11 p.m. Fridays to 7 a.m. Saturdays, Caltrans officials said in a written statement.
The closure will allow workers to demolish the old two-lane Carmenita Road bridge spanning the freeway, officials said.
The new 10-lane bridge was opened to traffic on July 3, although until new ramps are constructed, only four lanes are accessible in each direction.
0711_NWS_WDN-L-BRIDGE4The westbound 91 Freeway connector to the northbound 5 Freeway will also be shut down nighty between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., as well as the southbound 605 Freeway connector to the southbound 5 Freeway.
The construction project will widen the 5 Freeway between Alondra Avenue and Shoemaker Avenue with an additional carpool lane and an additional general use lane in each direction. The shoulders are also being widened, and a center median built.
For more information, visit www.my5la.com/carmenita-road-interchange.

PHOTOS courtesy of Caltrans


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