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‘My heart bleeds for those 4 families:’ PCH documentarian on Malibu crash

Photo credit Jon Baird KNX News 97.1 FM

Four women were killed in a violent crash on the Pacific Coast Highway Tuesday night. It’s the kind of tragedy residents in the area are all too familiar with.

A woman told KTLA that the area of PCH where the accident occurred is nicknamed “Dead Man’s Curve” because of the number of crashes that happen there. In 2023, producer Michel Shane’s documentary “21 Miles in Malibu” explored the deadly crashes that have taken place on that stretch of road, including the crash that killed his 13-year-old daughter Emily in 2010.

He told L.A.’s Morning News it’s a tragedy you learn to live with.

“It's part of your being. You're one way the day she's here and you're forever broken the next day,” he said. "My heart bleeds for those four families and I know exactly what they're going through right now.”

He said he made the film because of the dangers of that drag.

“Every other day there was something else going on and the highway was closed and I couldn't stand it and I'm not a politician and I'm not a writer…so I said, 'I'll make a film about it,'” he said.

Shane added that following Emily’s death, he approached CalTrans about putting bollards on the road.

“We got really great lip service and a form letter telling us that it was impossible because of buried wiring and, and stuff like that and they needed access,” He said. “So basically, what Caltrans was telling us was that human life didn't matter, accessibility did and that discussion has to change.”

When it comes to finding a solution to prevent more accidents from taking place on PCH, Shane believes it’s up to the community. He cited how people handled drunk driving over the years as an example.

“When I was growing up, it was frowned upon…but if you drove home drunk, it wasn't like the end of the world,” he said. “Now...the majority of kids won't drink drive. They'll Uber, they'll have a designated driver. It has become the standard and I think we can do the same thing with speeding and safety and it's really up to the community. It's up to the community to force the government to make the changes.”

The women killed on Tuesday night - Niamn Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weird, and Deslyn Williams – were all seniors at Pepperdine University. The school held a prayer service memorializing the women on Thursday.

The driver accused of causing the crash, 22-year-old Fraser Bohm, was released from custody Wednesday morning.

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