San Clemente man, 54, was allegedly driving on drugs in OC crash that killed infant

ByDavid González and staff KABC logo
Monday, April 3, 2023
Suspect identified in OC crash that killed infant, injured parents
The suspected DUI driver involved in an Orange County crash that killed a child has been identified as a 54-year-old San Clemente man.

MISSION VIEJO, Calif. (KABC) -- The names have been released of the suspect and victims in a horrific Orange County crash that resulted in the death of an infant.

A driver allegedly under the influence of drugs jumped a curb and struck a family of three out for a walk on Sunday afternoon in a neighborhood near Mission Viejo, according to the California Highway Patrol.

On Monday, the California Highway Patrol identified the suspect as Daniel Patrick Lenihan, 54, of San Clemente. He was driving a 2017 Hyundai Sonata and he was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs and vehicular manslaughter.

Child killed, 2 adults injured after DUI suspect jumps curb in Orange County crash, authorities say

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m. in the area of Antonio Parkway and Oaktree Lane, south of Mission Viejo, according to CHP.

Investigators say the Ohlwiler family was walking on the sidewalk with their son in a stroller when the Hyundai left the road and ended up driving for several hundred feet on the sidewalk along Antonio Parkway before colliding with them.

The two adults were hospitalized for major injuries and their 11-month-old son died - less than a week from his first birthday. The adults have been identified as Kyle Ohlwiler, 34, and Hayley Ohlwiler, 31, of Rancho Santa Margarita.

Their son Madden was pronounced dead at the hospital.

A GoFundMe has been set up to support the Ohlwilers.

"You don't expect these things to happen but unfortunately when somebody decides to take drugs and drive under the influence - it's not a good combination," said CHP Officer Brian Kinsey. "Bad things can happen."

Eyewitness News spoke with Jonathan Cherney on Monday, who lives in the area and specializes in accident reconstruction.

He was at the scene, analyzing the impressions left in the landscape and sidewalk.

Cherney believes Lenihan was speeding and there was little the family could have done.

"I think the scariest thing is that when you're with your family and you're walking somewhere that's safe, nobody is going to expect a car to drive up on the sidewalk and take you out," he said.

Meanwhile, residents of Las Flores near Rancho Santa Margarita were left stunned after hearing the tragedy that unfolded near their homes.

"I just did this walk like a week ago with my son. It horrible," said Terra Pickett. "I know the pain of losing a child and I just feel so bad for the family and I just wanted to bring them something to know that they're not alone and this community is here to help support."

Lenihan is currently in the Orange County Jail and is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Tuesday.