A male tow truck driver was struck and killed in a suspected hit-and-run crash on Pacific Coast Highway and John Tyler Drive on Monday night, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff ’s Department officials. The victim was identified as Ronald Carver, 45, of Newbury Park.
Jill Rose, 44, of Santa Monica is suspected of striking Carver while he assisted a disabled car on the eastbound side of PCH near Pepperdine University, said Sgt. Phil Brooks of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff ’s station. Rose allegedly fled the scene and crashed into a parked car two miles east near the Malibu Pier.
Carver, who worked for Platinum Tow and Transport of Camarillo, had lowered the bed of the tow truck to pull the disabled car onto the bed when the accident occurred, according to Brooks. Brooks said the owner of the car that Carver was assisting told deputies that a gray Audi drove off the road, caught the edge of the lowered truck bed, and did a full barrel role in the air before landing on its tires and kept going. At some point it struck Carver, according to the bystander.
“The ramp was down, she caught the ramp and did a flip or barrel role, [Carver] was probably next to the ramp or in front of it,” Brooks said. “[The driver] landed on her tires and kept going. It’s like a ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ stunt.”
“The person having their car towed was standing there and saw the whole thing.”
Deputies responded to a call around 9 p.m. reporting that a grey or silver vehicle had struck a man on PCH near John Tyler and driven away from the scene.
Responding deputies pronounced Carver dead at the scene.
A short time later, the Sheriff’s department also received calls that a car matching the hit-and-run description had crashed into a parked vehicle near the Malibu Pier.
“Witnesses positively identified the vehicle at the second collision as the one in the hit-and-run,” Sgt. Dan Nagelmann said.
Detectives are still investigating whether Rose was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time she crashed into the parked vehicle. They most likely won’t know until toxicology tests are completed, Nagelmann said.
Rose was admitted to a local hospital for undisclosed injuries and is listed in critical condition, Nagelmann said. He said she is expected to recover from her injuries. Detectives accompanied Rose to the hospital to question her and she was detained as a part of the investigation. Brooks said he understood Rose had suffered “some sort of head trauma” and likely would not be released from the hospital for at least two days. She would not be charged with a crime until then, Brooks said.
Sheriff’s officials shut down the eastbound side of PCH between Puerco Canyon Road and the Malibu Pier after the crashes were reported. Traffic was diverted to the westbound lanes until approximately 5 a.m.
An employee at Platinum Towing and Transport in Westlake Village said on Tuesday employees were instructed not to speak about the incident out of respect for Carver’s family.
“He was a good person, and he’ll be sorely missed, in the community and this company as well,” he said.
At the Camarillo branch, a man named Bill who identified himself as the owner of Platinum had similar things to say about Carver.
“He’s a really good guy, and it’s very sad to see what happened to him,” he said. “We’re very sad for him and his family.”