Reformed Drunk Driver Killed By Drunk Driver While Biking
A reformed drunk driver who traded his car for a bicycle was killed while he was biking down Pacific Coast Highway. In a cruel twist of irony, it turns out the driver who killed him was drunk.
The O.C. County Sheriff's Department identified the biking victim as 38-year-old Haitham Gamal, according to the OC Register. A 19-year-old driver, who authorities said had been drinking, fatally struck Gamal with his 2001 Acura alongside the road in Dana Point late evening on April 29. The car flipped over on its top and the driver and his 18-year-old passenger were taken to the hospital to be treated for head injuries. Gamal died at the scene.
Gamal, who admitted to driving drunk in 2005, 2009 and 2013, was turning over a new leaf, according to his lawyer Walter Cole. (Cole represented Gamal as he pleaded guilty to his latest DUI charge in Orange County Superior Court just a day before he was killed.) Gamal served time in jail and also was under probation for years. However, he had completed a rehabilitation program and also traded in his car for a bicycle.
"A lot of my clients are in denial. ..He wasn’t," Cole told the OC Register. "He was on the road to recovery."
He is survived by his wife and young children.
Authorities are waiting for the results of the suspect's blood test as part of their investigation. They'll send over the results to the district attorney's office for possible criminal charges.