A California Christian university is holding a prayer service Thursday to honor four victims who were killed by an out-of-control driver while walking along a highway, earlier this week.
Frazier Michael Bohm, 22, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after a crash in Malibu killed four college students and injured two other people, officials said Wednesday.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, the crash happened around 8:30 p.m. along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.
Investigators believe Bohm was driving a dark-colored BMW westbound at a high rate of speed when he lost control, sideswiped at least three parked vehicles, and then crashed into a group of people walking in the area about 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.
Pepperdine University school officials identified four of the victims to be seniors Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir, and Deslyn Williams.
“Indeed, one of the greatest mysteries of life is when and why our time on this earth is cut short. In such times, we hold firm to our faith in the God who sustains and nourishes us even when—and especially when—we experience life’s most significant losses,” Pepperdine President Jim Gash told the school community in a statement.
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Authorities said speed was likely a factor in the crash but clarified there was no indication that Bohm was involved in any street racing and driver impairment is still under investigation.
The university will hold a prayer service in honor of the four students at 1 p.m. on October 19.
“Join us as we come together in a spirit of comfort, compassion, and care as we lift up in prayer the families and friends of those we have lost and unite as a community to call upon our loving God for peace and comfort in this difficult time,” reads a statement from the school.
The four women were pronounced dead at the scene and two others were taken to a hospital to assess their condition.
Los Angeles Sheriff Department Capt. Jennifer Seetoo said in a press conference that speed along that stretch of the highway continues to be a top concern.
“With this recent tragedy we really need to talk about Malibu and PCH,” she said. “There’s too many people on this stretch of the highway that have been killed.”
That part of the highway is known by the locals as “Dead Man’s Curve” due to the high volume of incidents in the area, The Daily Mail reports.
The four girls were planning to meet friends at a Pepperdine University fraternity party at the time of the tragedy.
Niamh Rolston, a 20-year-old business major, was due to celebrate her 21st birthday in November. She was set to graduate in 2024.
Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir, and Deslyn Williams are all being remembered in their community.
Williams’ employer paid tribute to her in a Facebook post writing, “When you get the saddest news – 21 miles of devastation – a road full of heartbreak.”
“To the students who loved, lived with, and were in community with the departed members of our Pepperdine family, my heart is broken with yours. I join you in your grief as we process this profound loss,” President Gash said in a statement.
He continued, “When the weight of grief feels insurmountable and we find ourselves walking in a dark valley, my hope is that we experience the comfort and presence of our God who promises to walk with us and give us strength. As we walk this path together, I pray we gain strength and comfort from one another. In the embrace of our community, we also pray for the fortitude to navigate this painful journey knowing that we are not alone.”
The four women killed were students from Pepperdine’s Seaver College of Liberal Arts. The cause of the crash is under investigation.