Beach party ends in fatal traffic accident

Two young people were killed and a third critically injured at 4 a.m. Saturday when their speeding car spun out of control on Pacific Coast Highway near Trancas Canyon and hit a parked truck, sheriff’s officials reported.

The driver, 23-year-old Steve Cho from Los Angeles, had allegedly been drinking, although his blood alcohol level was not known, said Det. Hugh Wahler of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. Judging from the skid marks, Cho was traveling at 120 mph, he estimated.

Cho and the rear-seat passenger, 17-year-old Tiffany Davis from Lake Elsinore, were ejected from the sub-compact car as it side-skidded into a small Bobcat bulldozer. The bulldozer acted like a launch pad for the car, which landed on top of a nearby truck, Wahler said.

The front-seat passenger, 16-year-old Michelle Lindley of Lake Elsinore, was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition. She was to undergo surgery Tuesday, Wahler said.

Cho and Davis landed near the car after it dropped down onto Broad Beach, Wahler noted. Lindley, who wore a seatbelt, was still in the car.

The three were returning to a party on Corral Beach that had started the night before, Wahler said, where the driver had been seen drinking tequila. There were also several open bottles of beer in the car, Whaler said.


The three left the party just before 2 a.m. and were coming back to pick up the car’s owner, also from Los Angeles, and another Lake Elsinore girl.

The curve along PCH near Trancas is difficult for a driver under the influence, Wahler said. Cho reportedly oversteered the curve and went into a centrifugal skid.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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