Sheriff’s Department officials believe the two pedestrians may have been “playing chicken” in high speed traffic.
By Cortney Litwin/Staff Writer
While running across Pacific Coast Highway toward the beach, two pedestrian teenagers were struck and killed by a motorist Sunday night, just east of Corral Canyon Road.
Detective Robert Evans of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department, who was one of the investigators on the scene, said Abiu Pineda, 19, and Frank Reynosa, 17, both from North Hollywood, were apparently dodging in and out of traffic at about 11 p.m. when they were hit.
Two unidentified motorists called the department just before the tragedy to complain of two pedestrians jumping out into traffic. Evans is convinced they were referring to Pineda and Reynosa.
The first caller was a woman traveling on PCH near Pepperdine University, who phoned an hour before the two were struck, complaining that “a couple of guys are darting in and out of traffic,” Evans said. “She said she had to move over to avoid them.” At 10:53 p.m., a similar call came from another woman motorist at near Corral Canyon Road.
“Before that call was even dispatched, they’d already been hit,” Evans said. The accident occurred directly across from the Malibu RV Park.
The motorist who hit the teens was Malibu resident Norman Ollestad, who had been driving a GMC Yukon. “He was pretty upset,” Evans said, “and very cooperative. Everyone should be so cooperative.
“He saw something out of the corner of his eye, swerved and then slammed on the brakes. Ollestad wasn’t sure at first what he’d hit,” Evans said, who added that Ollestad showed no signs of alcohol use or impairment of any kind.
Autopsies are planned to determine if Pineda and Reynosa were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The two teenagers were not the only pedestrians killed on PCH this year. A 16-year-old from Chatsworth was killed by a driver while crossing PCH near Leo Carrillo Campground last month. Earlier, on May 21, an allegedly inebriated pedestrian was also killed while crossing PCH, Evans said.
The highway can also be deadly for motorists. The most recent fatality occurred last week. Gary Ronald Weitz of Van Nuys was speeding along PCH near Carbon Canyon Road and crashed his Toyota Camry station wagon into an embankment. He died a short time later at a hospital.
The Sheriff’s Department is asking anyone who may have seen Pineda and Reynosa on Sunday to phone 310.456.6652.