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Malibu head-on crash may have been deliberate

July 16, 2010 12:44:11 AM PDT
Authorities said a driver may have deliberately caused a violent head-on collision in Malibu that shut down Pacific Coast Highway for about 8 hours on Friday. The accident was near the intersection of Zuma View Place.

Witnesses said the driver of a Saturn was traveling south going the wrong way when it collided with a red Ford Mustang on the 28000 block of PCH at about 12:30 a.m. Police said the Saturn was traveling about 90 miles per hour.

The Saturn burst into flames, killing the driver. The driver of the Mustang was also killed instantly. A passenger in the Mustang, identified as 24-year-old Jesus Saenz, was flown by helicopter to UCLA Medical Center, where he is in stable condition.

The victims' identities have not been released. Sheriff's Sgt. Philip Brooks says two naval officers from the Port Hueneme base were in the Mustang.

Authorities said the driver in the Saturn may have deliberately hit the Mustang. Witnesses in another vehicle reported to police that shortly before the crash, the Saturn made a U-turn on the road and tried to hit them, but they took evasive action.

The mother of the Saturn driver, who lives in Minnesota, said her son had recently moved to California to get into the entertainment industry and was struggling.

"She also related that his brother had died about 10 days prior to this, and that he was a heavy drinker and possibly drug user," said Sgt. Philip Brooks of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities await toxicology reports to determine if the driver of the Saturn was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A section of PCH was closed until about 8:30 a.m. Motorists were rerouted over Malibu Canyon Road and Kanan Road.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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