A Los Angeles Country sheriff’s deputy will not be charged for hitting and killing a former Napster executive while driving his police cruiser last December.
Sheriff’s deputy Andrew Wood ran over former Napster COO Milton Olin Jr., 65, while typing a message into his computer on Dec. 8, 2013. Olin was riding a bicycle in a bike lane on Mulholland Highway in Calabasas when Wood, distracted with his computer, drifted into the bike lane and struck Olin, killing him instantly.
— daniel (@cyclingreporter) August 28, 2014
According to a Business Insider report, Wood was responding to a message from another officer, who inquired if his presence was needed at a scene Wood had just left. Wood was attempting to reply in the negative when the collision occurred.
In a statement Wood gave at the scene, the sheriff’s deputy alleged Olin had drifted out of the bike lane and into Wood’s, which the Los Angeles District Attorney’s report later said was untrue.
“Wood entered the bicycle lane as a result of inattention caused by typing into his MDC,” the DA’s incident report reads. “He was responding to a deputy who was inquiring whether the fire investigation had been completed. Since Wood was acting within the course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response, under Vehicle Code section 23123.5, he acted lawfully.”
According to the report Wood was also texting his wife shortly before the crash, which the DA concluded did not have any bearing on the incident.
Attorney’s representing Milton’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in LA last month after Wood’s subpoenaed cellphone records were released as part of the criminal investigation. It is illegal to text and drive according to California state law.