Tragic Car Crash in Thousand Oaks Leaves High School Student Dead and Three Injured
On Tuesday, April 18th, a tragic event occurred in Thousand Oaks, California. A 24-year-old man named Austin Eis allegedly killed a high school student and injured three others when he intentionally plowed into them with his car. The victim who lost his life was 15-year-old Wesley Welling, a ninth-grade student at Westlake High School. According to witnesses, Eis was “barreling” down Thousand Oaks Boulevard in a white Toyota Camry at around 3:40 pm when the car went up over the curb, hitting vegetation and a covered bus stop structure before coming to rest upside down on the outside eastbound lane about 15 yards before Lakeview Canyon.
The event has left the entire community in shock and grief. Conejo Valley Unified School District Superintendent Mark McLaughlin expressed condolences to the families and friends of the victims, saying, “During this time of unimaginable loss, our thoughts and prayers remain with these students, their families, friends, and the entire Warrior community.” McLaughlin also released a statement on Facebook, which was echoed by Westlake High School Principal Jason Branham.
Investigators believe that Eis was experiencing homelessness and was living in his car. Eis is a former student of Westlake High School, authorities confirmed. Prior to the deadly crash, Eis was wanted in connection with the stabbing of a Walmart employee on West Cochran Street in Simi Valley. The employee suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was being treated at a hospital. Following the crash, Eis was taken into police custody and faces charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a police officer, and brandishing.
The crash injured three other students: two girls aged 14 and 16 and a boy aged 15. One of the girls remained hospitalized in critical condition while the other two were released. The investigation is ongoing, and authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind Eis's actions. However, based on witness interviews and evidence collected at the scene, authorities believe the crash was intentional.
Wesley Welling's family and friends have been devastated by his sudden death. His mother, Kelly, told reporters that “everybody loved him.” Wesley's younger brother, Cody, shared that his brother loved playing board and video games, especially adventure games like “The Walking Dead.”
Eis's bail has been set at $5 million, and he is expected to be formally arraigned on Thursday. Ventura County Sheriff's Deputy Wendell Campbell said at a press conference on Wednesday that Eis was initially in the hospital due to injuries from the crash but is now in police custody.
The tragic events of April 18th have left the Conejo Valley community in mourning. The loss of Wesley Welling and the injuries sustained by the other students have left a deep impact on everyone involved. As the investigation continues, authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward. The community is coming together to support the victims' families and to try to make sense of the senseless tragedy.
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