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Pedestrian Killed In Crash at El Matador State Beach in Malibu

Posted: Monday, July 4, 2016 – 4:12 PM

(CNS) – A 19-year-old man who was killed in a car-pedestrian crash on high-speed section of Pacific Coast Highway in western Malibu was identified today as a Phoenix-area resident.

Spencer Wickander of Peoria, Arizona died on the pavement, and the young woman with him was badly hurt in the crash, at 5:25 p.m. Saturday next to El Matador State Beach.

Sheriff’s officials said there were no immediate arrests or citations. Her name would not be released due to privacy laws.

The crash was at one of several small beaches owned by the state and sandwiched between multi-million dollar estates west of Trancas. There, PCH opens up to 55 mile per hour speed limits with long straightaways — normally without much cross traffic.

But on hot inland days, PCH traffic jams with slow vehicles making parallel parking maneuvers, and people walking in traffic lanes or crossing them to reach the string of beaches.

Social media and internet guides to the “secret” beaches have prompted increased crowds this year, deputies said, on a stretch of highway with narrow shoulders, no walkways and fast traffic.

On Saturday, the unidentified woman was airlifted to a hospital but Wickander was pronounced dead at the scene, a deputy said.

All lanes of PCH were closed at El Matador State Beach Saturday evening.

Eight hours earlier, a crash at Decker Canyon Road blocked traffic on PCH, the sheriff’s department said.

Caltrans controls Highway 1 in Malibu, and officials there have said the 55 mile per hour speed limit is the lowest it can go, due to a state law aimed at preventing radar speed traps.

The law requires speed limits to be set near the “85th percentile” speed — the maximum speed travelled by all but the 15 percent of the fastest drivers. That speed is capped at 55 mph except on freeways or rural roads.

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