A judge set an Oct. 1 hearing Monday to determine if a Whittier man will have to stand trial for allegedly taking part in a February 2016 street race that caused a multi-vehicle pileup on the Golden State (5) Freeway in Commerce and left three people dead.
Dealio Lockhart, now 38, is charged with three counts of second-degree murder and four counts of reckless driving on a highway causing injury stemming from the crash just after midnight Feb. 27, 2016.
Lockhart is accused of driving a Dodge Challenger during a street race against someone behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger. California Highway Patrol officials said the two muscle cars were being driven aggressively and were jockeying for position near the Citadel Outlets.
When Lockhart approached a vehicle moving at normal freeway speed ahead of him, he tried to swerve around it but wound up losing control of his car and hitting a UPS 18-wheeler, which went airborne over the center median and sheared off the top of an oncoming Nissan with four people inside, according to the CHP.
The truck came to rest on top of a red Ford Explorer on the northbound side of the freeway, north of Washington Boulevard, and immediately burst into flames.
Debris from the collision also struck a Chevrolet Tahoe and Chevrolet Silverado, which were on the northbound side.
The UPS driver, Scott Treadway, 52, of Mira Loma was killed in the crash. He had been driving trucks for the UPS delivery service for 30 years.
Two people in the Nissan also died — Michelle Littlefield, 19, and Brian Lewandowski, 18, both of Valencia.
Lewandowski and Littlefield were both students at College of the Canyons, worked at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia and were returning from a trip to Disneyland when the crash occurred. Lewandowski was the son of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective Victor Lewandowski.
Two other people in the Nissan were critically injured, the prosecutor said at an earlier hearing. Another two people — a man and a woman — were also injured in the pileup.
Lockhart was arrested early that morning by the CHP. He has remained in jail in lieu of $6.2 million bail.
Authorities are still searching for the second motorist involved in the alleged street race.
At a hearing shortly after Lockhart’s arrest, Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake told a judge that Lockhart was “playing Russian roulette” with his 4,000-pound vehicle, which was traveling at 127 mph 2 1/2 seconds before the crash.
“This was an 11-mile race,” the prosecutor said, noting that it stretched from Beverly Boulevard to Washington Boulevard. “This was not a situation where you’re dealing with an empty freeway.”
One of Lockhart’s attorneys, Dmitry Gorin, countered at that hearing that “Mr. Lockhart had no intent to hurt anyone” and that what happened was “an accident.”
He noted then that his client had no prior criminal record and is a college graduate who worked as a field producer on the TV show “Dancing With The Stars.”
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