Saturday, February 27, 2016, was a day in which the dynamics of numerous families were changed forever. As their loved ones travelled for pleasure and work on Interstate Highway 5, they were unaware of two vehicles negligently competing on the same stretch of highway in an illegal street race.
As the two competing drivers raced southbound on Interstate Highway 5 at a high rate of speed, Suspect Vehicle #1 attempted to pass a slower moving vehicle ahead of him and lost control. Suspect Vehicle #1 struck a United Parcel Service commercial tractor hauling a package-laden, 52’ trailer driven by Victim Richard Scott Treadway. Victim Treadway lost control of the vehicle, crossed all southbound lanes of traffic and was forced into the northbound lanes of Interstate Highway 5.
The delivery truck bursting into traverse traffic caused a chain reaction collision on the northbound side involving several additional vehicles. The delivery truck impacted several northbound vehicles, one of which was a 2014 Nissan Sentra carrying amusement park coworkers and friends, Victim Michelle Littlefield and Victim Brian Lewandowski.
The delivery truck overturned and rested across several northbound and southbound lanes. It caught fire and burned with Victim Richard Scott Treadway still inside.
Victims Richard Scott Treadway, Michelle Littlefield and Brian Lewandowski were all pronounced dead at the scene.
Victims Anthony Miramontes, Alfonso Murillo, Thomas Won, and Nicole Ruiz suffered injuries ranging from moderate to major.
The collision site was littered with broken and burning vehicles, twisted metal and pieces of vehicles for hundreds of feet on both sides of the highway. Traffic was impacted for hours as first responders helped the victims, and detectives inventoried the site in detail.
Suspect #1 was identified as Dealio Lockhart, a 35-year-old resident of Whittier. It was determined he drove one of the vehicles involved in the illegal street race, which was a 2012 Dodge Challenger. Suspect Lockhart was detained at the scene then transported to the Inmate Reception Center, where he was booked for the charge of Murder. He is being held in lieu of $6.2 million bail.
The driver of Suspect Vehicle #2 did not stop to render assistance to the victims. Instead, the vehicle was last seen driving southbound on Interstate Highway 5 from the scene of the collision.
Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau detectives and California Highway Patrol investigators are asking the public for any available information about Suspect #2. The vehicle is described as a late-model black or dark blue Dodge Charger with tinted windows.
A $35,000 reward is being offered, in exchange for information leading to the apprehension and conviction of Suspect #2 for the injuries of Victims Anthony Miramontes, Alfonso Murillo, Thomas Won, and Nicole Ruiz; and the murders of Victims Richard Scott Treadway, Michelle Littlefield and Brian Lewandowski. The reward money is comprised of offers from the following:
· $10,000 from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
· $5,000 from Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
· $10,000 from the United Parcel Service
· $10,000 from Teamsters Local 396
Crime Stoppers is also offering a $1,000 reward, in exchange for information leading to the apprehension of Suspect #2.
If you have information about the second suspect or the unidentified Dodge Charger, please call East Los Angeles California Highway Patrol Investigator Frank Fonseca at 323-890-4600 or 800-TELL-CHP (800-835-5247); or Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau Detectives Marc Boskovich and Louie Aguilera at 323-890-5500.
If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may call "Crime Stoppers" by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.
For more information please contact Public Information Officer Nicole Nishida at (323) 810-1973 or Sheriff’s Information Bureau at (213) 229-1700.
"If You See Something, Say Something"
LA Crime Stoppers: Partner to prevent or report crime by contacting your local Sheriff’s station. If you wish to remain anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website http://lacrimestoppers.org