4 Pepperdine women dead after speeding driver crashes into Christian university students on California highway

The Pepperdine crash victims.
The Pepperdine crash victims. | Screenshot/KTLA5

Members of the Pepperdine University community are expected to continue prayer vigils Thursday morning on the California campus of the Christian school after four female students were killed when a 22-year-old driver crashed his car into them along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu on Tuesday night.

Investigators believe the women were struck near three parked vehicles shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 21600 block of Pacific Coast Highway, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told the Los Angeles Times.

The crash victims were identified by Pepperdine as: Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir and Deslyn Williams. All four women were seniors at Pepperdine’s Seaver College of Liberal Arts, KTLA5 said.

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“No day is more devastating to a tightly knit university community than the day that forces us to come together in grief and sorrow. Earlier today, we learned that four precious lives who brought joy and light to our campus were taken from us suddenly, tragically, and incomprehensibly,” Pepperdine’s President and CEO Jim Gash wrote in a statement to the school community Wednesday.

“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,” he continued. “As a parent, the loss of a child is an unimaginable tragedy. No words can appropriately convey the depth of my sympathy to the families who are living through a reality no parent would ever want to endure. You are not alone. Pepperdine stands with you as you traverse these challenging waters.”

Investigators said 22-year-old Fraser Michael Bohm, was speeding westbound in his dark-colored BMW along the highway when he lost control and sideswiped several parked vehicles before crashing into the women who were just walking in the area at the time. They were all pronounced dead at the scene while two others were taken to a nearby hospital, KTLA5 reported.

Officials said at a press conference Wednesday that Bohm was arrested but later released pending further investigation into the crash.

The Graphic, Pepperdine’s student newspaper, shared a photo of scores of students who gathered at The Well, a free worship event held at the Amphitheater, on Wednesday night.

Pepperdine officials said another prayer service will be held at 10 a.m. PDT on Thursday, while the Student Government Association is expected to hold another prayer service and candlelight vigil at 8 p.m.

“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. To the faculty and staff members who mentored and loved these students throughout their academic journeys both inside and outside the classroom, I offer prayers of comfort, support, and gratitude,” Gash said in his message to the Pepperdine community.

“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.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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