An at-fault driver killed one teen and injured three other kids after he struck them with his car. The teenager wrongfully killed was only 15-years-old. The tragic accident took place on April 18 at a bus stop near Westlake High School’s Thousand Oaks campus.
AT-FAULT DRIVER DELIBERATELY CRASHES INTO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Around 3:40 p.m. the crash was reported near East Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Lakeview Canyon Road. It was revealed by Ventura County Sheriff’s officials that the at-fault driver committed this act intentionally. He was arrested on suspicion of homicide.
The at-fault driver was identified as Austin Allen Eis. He was described as a 24-year-old man who has been a resident of Ventura Country for only a short period of time. Eis was involved in two other incidents earlier that day. One of these incidents included Eis stabbing someone at a Simi Valley Walmart.
Eis was sent to the Ventura County jail after cleaning the hospital. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, attempted robbery, kidnapping, use of tear gas, burglary, and drawing a gun in a threatening manner. After the at-fault driver killed one teen and injured many others, he was held with a bail of $5.54 million.
THE VICTIMS OF THE WESTLAKE VILLAGE WRONGFUL DEATH ACCIDENT
The 15-year-old victim was identified as Westlake High School student Wesley Welling from Thousand Oaks. The three other kids hit in the crash were Westlake High School students as well. The three students injured in the crash included another 15-year-old boy, one 14-year-old girl, and one 16-year-old girl.
Two of the teenagers suffered minor injuries while one was in critical condition. They were all treated at local hospitals. Furthermore, the two teenagers with minor injuries were released from the hospital and the child in critical condition was said to be stable.
Westlake Village’s Calvary Community Church held a prayer vigil on the night of April 19. Additionally, Community members have been planning different events with the intention of helping the victims and their families.
By April 24, a GoFundMe page for Wesley Welling had raised over $250,000.
WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE AT-FAULT DRIVER KILLED ONE TEEN?
Before the tragic car accident, Eis allegedly stabbed a male Simi Valley Walmart employee and assaulted a female employee. This incident started around 2:40 p.m. The employee was treated in a hospital after suffering multiple stab wounds.
Eis escaped the scene in a white Toyota Camry. In fact, the Camry was missing a bumper. Witnesses of the scene captured the license plate and provided it to the police.
According to the VC Star, Eis reportedly pepper sprayed the Walmart employee before stabbing him numerous times with a sizable knife.
Eis attempted to drag the female employee away after assaulting her. Other employees in the store tried to stop Eis but he lunged at them with his knife. The suspect then ran away from the scene and left the store.
Simi Valley police Commander Ritchie Lew stated that the suspect’s attack was unprovoked and the motive was unclear.
AT-FAULT DRIVER ON THE RUN
Eis reportedly arrived in Camarillo after escaping Walmart. While in Camarillo, he was allegedly involved in a domestic dispute with his parents. No one was injured during this situation.
There was a report of disturbance at the house that was sent to the sheriff’s office around 3:20 p.m. Eis reportedly entered the family member’s home on Shadetree Way without permission. Eis used a knife and gun to threaten multiple people in the home. Before victims were able to call 911, the suspect escaped.
Following this incident, Eis headed to Thousand Oaks where he struck the Westlake High students in the 4000 block of Thousand Oaks Boulevard. The Camry overturned and came to rest while upside down.
One witness of the crash was 14-year-old Caleb Hearne who was waiting for the bus at the time of the accident. He revealed that the at-fault driver quickly swerved on the road and then headed straight toward the students before his car flipped over.
While sheriff’s investigators were working on the scene, Thousand Oaks Boulevard was closed from Westlake Boulevard to Via Merida.
In fact, Eis was a former Westlake High School student himself.
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF THE WRONGFUL DEATH ACCIDENT
Around 9 p.m. on April 18 locals of Westlake Village gathered in front of the high school’s main sign. Mourners brought flowers and lit candles in honor of the victims.
A 14-year-old Westlake High School freshman named Christian Morales spoke about Wesley Welling. Morales explained that Welling was “a very kind, smart person…He was always looking out for others, putting people before him…He never caused any harm to anyone. He was always just calm, playful.”
Westlake High junior Kaden Youmans brought flowers on his own to the memorial. 17-year-old Kevin said “It’s very close to home, that’s what affected me so much…He was just going to the bus stop. I can’t do much except pray and bring flowers…It was a beautiful thing, seeing our community come together.”
KELLY WELLING SPEAKS TO REPORTERS IN WESTLAKE VILLAGE
Mother of Wesley, Kelly Welling, spoke about the tragic incident and revealed that it was her birthday that day. Wesley was at the bus stop with his sister Hannah before he was stuck by the vehicle.
Kelly Welling explained that “Everybody loved [Wesley]…I’m finding out how many more people loved him than I already knew about from this whole thing…By some miracle, my daughter wasn’t standing right next to him because it could have been both of them…She’s OK, but she witnessed it.”
Accidents like these should never happen and it is a true tragedy when one does occur. Our hearts go out to the young victims and their families.
If you have any questions regarding a wrongful death case, you should contact a wrongful death attorney immediately.