Deputy Might Have Been Texting And Driving Before Fatally Crashing Into Former Napster Exec On A Bike Ride
Court documents reveal that an L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. deputy was texting shortly before he fatally struck a former Napster exec who was cycling in Calabasas, though it's not clear whether the texting had anything to do with the crash.Deputy Andrew Wood sent out six text messages on December 8 between 1 p.m. and 1:04 p.m. before his patrol car slammed into Milton Olin Jr. at 1:05 p.m., the L.A. Daily News reports. However, Wood had just left Calabasas High School less than a mile away from the crash site, which he was called in to patrol, so it's not clear if he was texting while driving.
Olin, 65, was cycling in the bike lane in the 22400 block of Mulholland Highway in the same direction as the deputy when he was struck by the patrol car. Olin smashed into the windshield and was pronounced dead at the scene.
L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. Detective Russell A. Townsley wrote in an affidavit requesting Wood's cellphone records that witnesses said they saw that Wood didn't adjust his patrol car along the left curve on the highway and drove straight into the bike lane. They also said that they didn't see Wood's brake lights go on until Olin's body was in the air.
Townsley believes that "Deputy Wood may have been distracted by using his cellular telephone or viewing and/or using the Mobile Digital Computer (MDC) in his radio car at the time of the collision."
According to his affidavit, he wasn't under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and didn't report feeling tired.
Olin's family filed a claim in April against L.A. County, the Sheriff's Dept. and Wood, accusing the deputy of being negligent and careless. The Sheriff's Dept. is separately reviewing the case to determine whether to file criminal charges against Wood.
Olin, from Woodland Hills, was formerly the COO of Napster during 2000 to 2002 and a prominent entertainment lawyer at Altschul & Olin LLC in Encino. He is survived by his wife and two sons.