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Dole Food Chairman's Son Killed in Crash

Los Angeles

October 24, 2004|Steve Hymon | Times Staff Writer

The son of Dole Food Co.'s chairman was killed early Saturday when his 2003 Ferrari veered off the Santa Monica Freeway, skidded down an embankment and slammed into a tree on the Westside of Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol said.

David H. Murdock II, 36, died at the scene. A female passenger suffered moderate injuries and was taken to a local hospital, said CHP Officer Shameil Coleman.

Murdock served on the board of directors of Dole Food, the Westlake Village-based company that is run by his father, Chief Executive David H. Murdock, 81, according to the firm's 2003 annual report.

The younger Murdock was also a senior vice president of Castle & Cooke, a real estate development firm run by his father, according to the company's website. Company officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.

Murdock was eastbound on the freeway about 2:30 a.m., Coleman said, when the car plunged off at the Centinela Avenue onramp, just outside the Santa Monica city limit.

"For unknown reasons the driver failed to negotiate a curve in the roadway," she said.

The accident remains under investigation, and police do not yet know how fast Murdock was traveling, Coleman said.

Apparently, no other vehicle was involved.

Murdock sold a Tuscan-style home in Bel-Air earlier this year for $16 million.

According to Forbes magazine, his father was the 140th richest American in 2003, with a net worth of $1.5 billion.

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