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  • 21milesinmalibu

How Malibu's infamous 'Dead Man's Curve' has seen tragedy after tragedy...

...with Catch Me If You Can producer even making a doc on 'Blood Alley' highway after his daughter was killed by a driver in 2010

  • The stretch of road in Malibu where four college students lost their lives in on Tuesday is so treacherous, it was the subject of a documentary this year

The area of the seemingly idyllic Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, where four college students lost their lives in an horrific crash on Tuesday night is such a treacherous stretch of road to traverse, it was the subject of a 2022 documentary, 21 Miles in Malibu.

For years, PCH has been known as Blood Alley, the particular stretch were four coeds lost their lives this week is known by locals as Dead Man's Curve, thanks to the countless number of accidents that have taken place there over the years. The highway has been the scene of 49 fatal collisions in the last decade including a 2015 crash between Caitlyn Jenner and victim Kim Howe.

Safety experts say the huge number of tourists the beauty spot draws combined with the lack of sidings on either side of the road are to blame for the repeated crashes that occur there.

This week, PCH was back in the news when a driver plowed into Pepperdine University students Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams. They were all pronounced dead at the scene.

A 22-year-old local man, Fraser Bohm, was taken into custody in relation to the tragedy. He's accused of speeding through the area, losing control of his BMW and slamming into a group of parked cars. The four students were walking in the area when they were hit.

The hazardous highway is so infamous that last year, Michael Shane, who was behind blockbusters such as Catch Me if You Can and I, Robot, produced a documentary about it titled, 21 Miles in Malibu. In 2010, Shane's daughter, Emily, 13, was tragically killed on the road.

The documentary points out that despite the countless studies and grim statistics about the safety of the PCH, the infrastructure of the stretch remains as it was in the 1950s.

The population of Malibu is around 10,000, however at the weekend, tourists and day-trippers flood the area, contributing to traffic chaos.

The man who killed Emily, Sina Khankhanian, admitted to targeting the teen expressing that she 'deserved to die' while he was speeding on the highway. He was under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol at the time.

At trial, his lawyers said that he had also been diagnosed with autism. Khankhanian was sentenced to 15 years to life on manslaughter charges in 2012. He is expected to be released around Christmas 2023, reports The Malibu Times.

Shane, who crowdfunded $37,138 to make the documentary through a Kickstarter page, said his ambition was to make people 'angry' about the lack of safety measures on the road.

'This is not about box office sales, it's about creating change,' he told in February.

'I am not a politician, that's not what I'm trying to do. I am just trying to make enough people angry to create change.

'Everybody knows how dangerous this part of the highway is. Every few years there is a big crash and there's a new government and more research is released but nobody is actually doing anything to make it safer.'

The documentary alleges there are more than 400 collisions on the strip of PCH annually while 17 fatalities and more than 633 injuries have been recorded there since 2015.

Addressing his daughter's death on April 3 2010, Shane added: 'That day changed my life.

'There was my life before that happened and there is my life afterwards.'

Emily was walking from her friend's house to meet her father when she was struck by a vehicle along PCH at Heathercliff Road - which has since been named Emily Shane Way in her honor. She died instantly.

There are no sideways along that strip of the highway despite there being lots of pedestrian magnets including bus stops and a shopping center.

Khankhanian, who was 26 at the time, was reported to have been despondent about losing his job and was driving recklessly along the coast.

In February 2015 Caitlyn Jenner, who then identified as Bruce and was at the start of her transgender journey, slammed into the back of a vehicle driven by 70-year-old Kim Howe.

It prompted a four-vehicle crash which killed Howe, an animal rights activist, at the scene.

Caitlyn had been driving a Cadillac 4x4 and towing a dune buggy. She paid $800,00 in damages to Howe's family.

In June that same year, 47-year-old rapper MC Supreme, known for his song 'Black in America', was sitting in a parked vehicle on the highway when a pick-up truck smashed into him.

The artist, whose real name was Dewayne Lawrence Coleman, was pronounced dead at the scene while his female passenger was taken to hospital.

At the time Hollywood actor Rob Lowe tweeted: 'PCH's been a death trap for decades.

'No local care to address it. Sad and unacceptable.'

In 2018 three Las Vegas teenagers were died on the highway, near Huntington Beach, after being slammed into by a drunken driver.

Bani Duarte, then 27, killed 17-year-old Brooke Hawley, Dylan Mack, 18, and Albert AJ Rossie, 17, in the fatal collision.

More recent victims include Annabelle Ferrer Robinson who was killed with her dad, aunt and family friend in a fiery crash on the Highway near Point Mugu Rock in November last year.

In the same month, petrifying dashcam footage captured the moment a motorcyclist is slammed into by a pick-up truck on the highway.

The footage shows the driver, Stephen Levey, calmly waiting to make a left turn off the busy highway.

But a black SUV speeds directly onto the highway from Kanan Dume Road, clipping a large gray pick-up truck which flies into Levy.

He suffered nine broken ribs, a damaged right food, a collapsed lung and 'a lifetime of trauma,' he said at the time.

In February, a meeting of California transport authority Caltrans committed to redesigning the stretch of road with heightened safety measures in mind - though the changes are still in the planning phase.

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