One dead, two injured in head-on collision on deadly stretch of PCH in Malibu

Law enforcement investigate a car accident were one person died, and two others were injured when two vehicles collided head-on in Malibu Thursday evening on a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway that is notorious for deadly crashes. The collision occurred around 10:15 p.m. near Carbon Canyon Road. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the driver of a 2019 white Mercedes Benz sedan was traveling eastbound when they crossed the center median and collided with a 2020 Cadillac SUV traveling westbound.
Law enforcement investigate a car accident were one person died, and two others were injured when two vehicles collided head-on in Malibu Thursday evening on a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway that is notorious for deadly crashes. (KTLA)

One person died and two others were injured in a head-on collision Thursday night on a stretch of road in Malibu that has become increasingly dangerous in recent years, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The collision occurred shortly after 10 p.m. in the 22000 block of Pacific Coast Highway when the driver of a 2019 Mercedes Benz, traveling east, crossed the center median and collided head on with a westbound 2020 Cadillac SUV, the department said in a statement.

“As a result of the collision, the driver of the Cadillac succumbed to his injuries at the scene,” the statement read. “The passenger of the Cadillac and the driver of the Mercedes Benz were transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.”

Both directions of Pacific Coast Highway were shut down for hours while authorities probed the deadly crash. Authorities did not identify the victim and said the cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Malibu Mayor Steve Uhring said in a written statement he was saddened by the tragic loss of life.

"This heartbreaking incident underscores the importance of the city's ongoing efforts to address safety on Pacific Coast Highway."

The fatal collision occurred on the same stretch of road where four Pepperdine students were killed in traffic accident on October 2023, prompting residents to call on government and law enforcement officials to address hazard and reckless driving on the popular state highway.

Read more: New safety campaign for deadly PCH strip urges drivers to 'slow the fast down'

Prosecutors alleged that Fraser Michel Bohm, 22, was speeding when he lost control and struck parked cars where the four students were standing, killing them. Bohm is facing four counts of murder and four counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross neglience. Bohm has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Since that fatal crash, a coalition of law enforcement agencies, traffic engineers, Caltrans, local and state officials formed the PCH Taskforce to help make the highway safer from the McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica to the Ventura County line.

Additionally, the city of Malibu declared a local emergency and embarked on a series of initiatives in partnership with state officials, transportation and law enforcement agencies to improve road safety on its 21-mile stretch of PCH. The efforts include installing new traffic signs, bringing back patrols by the California Highway Patrol, and launching road projects to create lane separators and synchronize its signal lights to control the speed of traffic and reduce congestion.

Malibu officials have also supported state legislation such as Senate Bill 1297 that will allow the city to take part in a pilot program to install speeding cameras that will automatically record drivers racing over the limit and issue traffic tickets.

The CHP and the Sheriff’s Department have also conducted several traffic operations to crack down on people speeding on the highway.

The operations appear to be helping. Between January and April, the Sheriff’s Department recorded a total of 70 collisions compared with 76 during the same time period last year.

Building on that momentum, a coalition of longtime residents, Pepperdine students, city and law enforcement officials launched a public safety campaign called “Cruise Malibu - Surf, Sand, Slow,” in an effort to help change driving behavior on the roadway. It was the second public campaign to be launched in the region.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.