Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed 3

Crash victims Michelle Littlefield, 19, and Brian Lewandowski, 18.

A Whittier man accused of killing three people, including two Valencia residents, in a 2016 crash pleaded guilty Friday to all crimes charged in an 18-count amended complaint filed against him in exchange for a prison sentence of 22 years and four months.

Dealio Lockhart, 35, appeared Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court scheduled to set a date for a preliminary hearing, charged with murder in a crash that killed Brian Lewandowski, 18, and Michelle Littlefield, 19, both of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Instead, he entered a plea of guilty.

“Dealio Lockhart entered a guilty plea this afternoon in case BA444552 before Judge Jose Sandoval in Department 50,” Deputy District Attorney Michael Blake said.

“Lockhart admitted all crimes charged in an eighteen-count amended complaint for a negotiated term of 22 years, 4 months,” he said.

Lockhart is scheduled to sentenced on April 12.

The amended complaint against Lockhart alleged the following crimes:

  • Three counts vehicular manslaughter.
  • Four counts of engaging in a motor vehicle speed contest on a highway causing a specified injury.
  • 10 counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Reflecting on the complexity of the case that stretched over three years, Blake said: “There was nothing easy about any of this, but the result was fair.”

Blake commended investigating officers with a specially-trained accident reconstruction unit of the California Highway Patrol, called the Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team.

“The CHP-MAIT Team and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department should be commended for their outstanding investigations in this case,” Blake said.

The MAIT program was set up in 1978, when the severity and intricacy of traffic collisions dictated the need for more intensive investigations to determine subtle collision and injury causes.  

The objective of the MAIT program is to provide the CHP with the means to conduct in-depth investigations and analyses of major traffic collisions throughout the state. The team’s Investigations include the reconstruction of an incident and a study of the factors that may have contributed to the incident.  

Lockhart raced his Dodge Challenger with another driver on Interstate 5 on Feb. 27, 2016, in Commerce, causing a chain-reaction collision that killed the two Valencia residents and Scott Treadway, 52, a UPS truck driver from Mira Loma.

Littlefield and Lewandowski were passengers in a Nissan with two other young people who were critically injured.

All four occupants of the Nissan were employees of Six Flags Magic Mountain returning from a trip to Disneyland.

[email protected] 661-287-5527 On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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