MALIBU—The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday, December 14 Kevin James Hicks, 22, of Venice has been charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter, fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s motor vehicle causing death and driving or taking a vehicle without consent with a prior. Hicks is also charged with a misdemeanor count of driving when privilege suspended or revoked.
The incident began at around 7:50 a.m. on November 29 when a Malibu/Lost Hills deputy received a stolen vehicle “hit,” a Mazda 6, on his Advanced Surveillance and Protection Vehicle (ASAP). The deputy drove eastbound on Pacific Coast Highway and located the vehicle on Pacific Coast Highway and Winding Way West in Malibu. The deputy followed the confirmed stolen vehicle on Pacific Coast Highway and Morning View Drive and initiated a pre-stop coordination as he requested backup from additional patrol units. Upon sufficient backup units arriving, a traffic stop was initiated. Hicks pulled the vehicle over to the right on Zumirez Drive and Pacific Coast Highway and a female passenger exited the vehicle.
Authorities halted the chase, as Hicks was driving at a high rate of speed before he crashed into landscaper, Juan Castillo, 28, who was walking on the right shoulder of Pacific Coast Highway when the chase transpired. Castillo instantly died from the collision. The criminal complaint alleges Hicks was convicted earlier this year of grand theft auto in Kern County.
This is not the first fatality to transpire on PCH in recent weeks. A pedestrian was killed during an early morning traffic incident on Pacific Coast Highway on November 21. At 5:30 a.m., the Department responded to a radio call for service regarding a traffic collision involving a pedestrian at the 300 block of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH).
After arriving on the scene, officers discovered a pedestrian in the roadway. The first driver involved in the incident was on scene when officers arrived. A second involved vehicle in the collision was located on PCH in Pacific Palisades.
Canyon News spoke to Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD via email about the incident.
“There is nothing indicating there was any intent or criminal in nature leading to the fatality,” said Lt. Rodriguez. He added that the name of the victim has not yet been disclosed to the public. He revealed that authorities are unclear as to why the victim was standing in the roadway.
A vehicle travelling northbound along Pacific Coast Highway struck the individual. A second vehicle also travelling northbound stuck the pedestrian, as well. Both drivers cooperated with the investigation and there are no preliminary indications either driver was impaired. On October 15, 23 year-old biker Kazumasa Nozaki was killed after being struck by a vehicle on the 200 block of PCH. Canyon News spoke to two witnesses who indicated that the driver allegedly fled the scene of the crime, and only returned after being chased to his residence by three males who later contacted the police.
If convicted as charged, Hicks could face a possible maximum sentence of 12 years and 10 months in state prison. His bail was set at $180,000. The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Lost Hills Station.