Former UCLA track star killed in car crash

LOS ANGELES - A former UCLA track star and another person were killed when the car in which they were riding hit a center divider and then a tree near downtown, police said Thursday.

Witnesses to the crash reported seeing a struggle inside the BMW, which was traveling at an estimated 65-90 mph shortly before it crashed early Wednesday, said police Officer Danielle Lee, adding that the crash's cause was under investigation.

Jeffrey David West, 39, who had the third-fastest time in UCLA history for the 800 meters, was pronounced dead at the scene. A 36-year-old female passenger was also pronounced dead. Her identity was not immediately released.

The driver, a 31-year-old Los Angeles woman whose name also was not released, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with massive facial trauma. She was listed in critical but stable condition, Lee said.

''From what I understand, none of them were wearing seat belts,'' the officer said.

West, who ran for the UCLA track team as a freshman and sophomore, set the school's freshman record in 1980 at 1:47.49 in 1980 and the sophomore record at 1:47.0 in 1981, the university said. His sophomore time is still third best in UCLA history.

He also ran for the Santa Monica Track Club in the mid-1980s.


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