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Crash on PCH kills 15-year-old from Los Angeles

Authorities say alcohol may have played a role in fatal crash in which Roman Jimenez, 15, died.

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Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 6:30 am

A 15-year-old male passenger was killed in a three-car crash Saturday morning on Pacific Coast Highway at Rambla Pacifico Road. Three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The accident shut down PCH in both directions for nearly eight hours.

Donte Sheffield, 19, was detained on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. He was released later that day pending further investigation. Sheffield’s 15-year-old passenger, Roman Jimenez, was declared dead at the scene. Jimenez was a native of Los Angeles.

“[Jimenez] was a close friend [of Sheffield’s],” Det. Richard Curry of the Malibu/Lost Hill’s Sheriff’s Station said. “He considered him a brother.”

Curry said the two were driving eastbound to Los Angeles shortly after 8 a.m. on PCH when Sheffield lost control of his red Ford Explorer and swerved into oncoming traffic, striking a westbound vehicle and killing Jimenez on impact. The initial collision caused the Explorer to spin 180 degrees and strike another car headed eastbound on PCH, Curry said.

James Davidson and Kenisha Edwards were headed westbound on PCH and pulled up on the accident shortly after it happened.

“The ambulance and the fire department hadn’t gotten there yet,” Edwards said. “People were pretty shaken up.”

Emergency responders had not arrived yet, so Davidson, a registered nurse, got out to help at the scene.

“I went over to the driver [Sheffield], he was across the street,” Davidson said. “He was saying, ‘I hurt my brother, I hurt my brother.’”

Davidson next went over to Jimenez, who remained in the vehicle. He said Jimenez was unconscious and Davidson could do little to help him.

Sheffield and the driver of the eastbound car were airlifted to UCLA-Westwood for treatment. The eastbound car’s male driver underwent surgery for abdominal injuries and is in stable condition.

A woman in the westbound car was transferred by ambulance to UCLA-Santa Monica and released shortly after being treated for minor injuries. The woman’s son was also in the car with her. He did not suffer injuries and his mother sent him off to his youth soccer game that day, Curry said.

Sheffield and Jimenez had attended a party in Malibu on Friday night and were driving home to Los Angeles on Saturday morning when the crash occurred.

Detectives detained Sheffield after he was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital. Authorities are awaiting the results from his blood alcohol test, estimated to come back in four to six weeks.

Sheffield reported having “tire issues” before losing control but detectives have not determined that as a definitive cause of the accident, according to Curry.

Traffic was shut down in all directions for nearly eight hours on PCH as investigators combed the scene and cleared wreckage. Eastbound cars were backed up as far as the Malibu Pier and cars headed west were backed up as far as Topanga Canyon Boulevard.

This was the second serious accident this month at Rambla Pacifico and PCH. On Oct. 11, two cars collided as one was in the westbound left-turn lane and the other car was headed east on PCH, striking the passenger’s side of the westbound car. The westbound car may have been attempting to turn left into the 76 gas station at the intersection. One person was airlifted to UCLA-Westwood and another was taken via ambulance to UCLA-Santa Monica. As of Tuesday afternoon when The Malibu Times went to press, Malibu/Lost Hills investigators were unable to disclose the extent of those injuries.

Email the author at melissa@malibutimes.com.

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