All three victims who were killed when a suspected street racer slammed into a UPS truck, setting off a chain-reaction crash that left several others injured on Saturday and prompted the day-long shutdown of the 5 Freeway in Commerce, have been identified.
Authorities have not formally released the names of the victims, but Scott Treadway, Michelle Littlefield and 18-year-old Brian Lewandowski have been identified by various organizations as those killed in the collision.
Treadway was driving the UPS truck about midnight on the southbound 5 near Washington Boulevard when a Dodge Challenger believed to be involved in a street race clipped the big rig, causing the semi to go out of control, California Highway Patrol Officer Doris Peniche said at the scene on Saturday morning.
The big rig crashed through the center divider and went airborne, hitting a gray Nissan Sentra that was traveling northbound. The force of the collision sheared the top off the car.
The out-of-control 18-wheeler continued on, eventually coming to a rest on top of a Ford Explorer, where it burst into flames, CHP said in a news release.
Treadway was killed in the fiery crash, as were two occupants of the Nissan. Four others were injured, including two critically, in the collision, which involved eight vehicles in total.
The crash prompted the complete shutdown of the 5 Freeway in the Commerce area for 24 hours, as authorities investigated the crash and Caltrans crews cleaned up and repaired the damaged roadway.
Treadway “was admired and loved by his friends and co-workers at UPS,” Teamsters Local 396 wrote in a Facebook post.
“We are still trying to come to grips with this horrible loss,” the post said. “We love and miss you Brother!”
Lewandowski was identified by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where his father works as a homicide lieutenant, a news release from the law enforcement agency said early Sunday afternoon.
“Brian was an incredible young man and every parent’s dream for a son. We are absolutely devastated by our loss. Our hearts go out to the other victims and their families and our prayers are for the survivors’ recovery. We are very thankful for the love and support of family and friends throughout this time,” his family said in a statement released by the department.
The teen was survived by both his parents and two brothers.
Littlefield graduated from Holy Redeemer Middle School in 2010, according to a Facebook post by St. James Holy Redeemer, which confirmed her death.
“Please pray for the repose of the soul of Michelle Littlefield Class of 2010,” the post read.
Her own Facebook page listed her employer as Six Flags Magic Mountain, and the theme park later confirmed she and Lewandowski were “team members.”
“The Six Flags Magic Mountain family was saddened to learn about two of their team members who were tragically killed in the I-5 freeway incident in Commerce, CA on February 27. Our thoughts and prayers go out to their families, friends and colleagues during this difficult time,” the park said in a statement.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has not confirmed the names of the victims yet.
Meanwhile, one person suspected in the street race — 35-year-old Dealio Lockhart — was arrested on Saturday. The Whittier man was expected to face felony vehicular manslaughter charges, according to CHP.
Lockhart was being held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility on $1 million bail, jail records showed. Charges have yet to be filed in the case, but his first court appearance was expected on Tuesday, according to the inmate record.
The driver of the second car involved in the street race, a dark-colored Dodge Charger, remained outstanding on Sunday.
Officials issued a public plea for the driver to turn himself or herself in.
“You got to do the right thing, turn yourself in. There are plenty of families out there hurting because of this person’s actions,” said CHP Officer Charles Chu.
CHP did not have additional information on the car they were searching for, nor did the agency have a description of the driver.
An investigation into the triple fatal crash was ongoing.
KTLA’s Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.