(August 18, 2002) -- A horrifying ELB traffic accident on 7th St. just south and east CSULB shortly after midnight, killed one person and injured six, involving ejected passengers and three vehicles in a truly terrifying series of events.
LBPD that at roughly 12:25 a.m., 23-year old Cedric Leslie, Jr. of Ventura was driving westbound on the 7th St. exit from the 22 freeway in a 2001 Kia Optima. Police allege he was traveling at a high rate of speed when he lost control of his car and it crossed into the eastbound lanes of 7th St. east of Studebaker. The car eventually flipped over and ejected three of its five occupants, none of whom were wearing seatbelts, police say.
Two of the ejected occupants landed in the eastbound lanes of 7th St. and were run over by an eastbound 2003 Chevy Malibu. One of the ejected occupants run over was 25 year old Marcellis Keevon Tharpe of Pomona; he was pinned underneath the Chevy Malibu and pronounced dead at the scene.
Meanwhie, the Kia Optima came to rest by landing on top of a third vehicle, a 1997 Honda Civic headed eastbound on 7th St. The Honda's driver, a Huntington Beach man, and his female passenger, were transported to a local hospital and described as slightly injured.
Police say the driver of the Kia was released to a hospital due to injuries but is being investigated for driving under the influence of alcohol and a blood sample has been obtained.
LBPD asks anyone who may have witnessed the accident, or the events prior, to call Sgt. Hans Kohnlein or Detective Brian Watt of the Accident Investigation Detail at (562) 570-7355.