Driver Suspected in Fatal Street Race on I-5 in Commerce Charged With 3 Counts of Murder

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A California Highway Patrol investigator at the scene of a multi-vehicle crash on the 5 Freeway in Commerce on Saturday. Three people died in the crash, with others wounded. (Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A 35-year-old Whittier man suspected of racing with another driver on the 5 Freeway in Commerce early Saturday morning and causing a fiery multi-vehicle crash that killed three people was charged Tuesday with three counts of second-degree murder.

Dealio Lockhart appeared in court where he was also charged with four counts of reckless driving on a highway causing a specified injury, according to a news release from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

The Whittier man was accused of racing his Dodge Challenger with another driver shortly after midnight Saturday near downtown Los Angeles, according to the release.

One of the vehicles lost control and slammed into a UPS truck, causing the big rig to go airborne, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The truck flipped over the center divider into oncoming traffic near Washington Boulevard, in turn triggering a multivehicle crash, the CHP stated.

Killed in the crash were Valencia residents Brian Lewandowski, 18, the son of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department homicide detective, and Michelle Littlefield, 19, both passengers in a Nissan that had its top sheared off by the UPS truck.

The teenagers were on their way home from Disneyland at the time of the crash, Littlefield’s parents said.

The UPS driver, Scott Treadway, 52, also was killed.

“Scott was admired and loved by his friends and co-workers at UPS. We are still trying to come to grips with this horrible loss,” Teamsters Local 396 wrote in a Facebook post. “We love and miss you Brother!”

In addition to the three fatalities, four others were seriously injured. Two males in the Nissan were injured and remain in critical condition. A man and a woman who were in separate cars also were injured, the release stated.

Lockhart was being held on $6.2 million bail and was due back in court on April 6.

If convicted, he faces up to life in state prison, according to the DA’s office.