Los Angeles Deputy Fatally Runs Down Bicyclist, No Charges? What? [Op-Ed]

A Los Angeles Deputy ran over and killed a Calabasas bicyclist on December 8, 2013. The District Attorney decided not to file charges against him.

Entertainment lawyer Milton Olin Jr was struck and killed when L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Wood was typing into his mobile computer device and the patrol car wandered into the bicycle lane. The former A&M Records and Napster executive flew off the bike, struck the car’s windshield, and rolled off.

Olin was pronounced dead at the scene.

Andrew Wood is a 16 year department veteran who was returning from a fire call at Calabasas High School at the time of the accident.

The declination letter prepared by the Justice System Integrity Division of the District Attorney’s Office stated:

“Wood entered the bicycle lane as a result of inattention caused by typing into his (Mobile Digital Computer). 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.

“Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking Olin.”

Let’s get this straight: A Los Angeles Deputy literally got away with murder because he was distracted behind the wheel doing his job? Most motorists would get at least jail time for that. Also being distracted behind the wheel is itself a traffic violation.

It was also revealed in GPS records that the car was traveling at three miles per hour over the speed limit at the time.

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I’m guessing the District Attorney secretly decided it was okay to be distracted behind the wheel, traveling above the speed limit, because the man killed was a lawyer. This sounds like a standup comedy routine in bad taste, not the legal system.

It’s a sad day in law enforcement when all you need is a badge and seniority to get away with at least two traffic violations and murder.

Rest in peace, Milton Olin Jr. What happened to you was unfair and unjustified. I hope the lawsuit your family filed against the Los Angeles Deputy and his department earns you justice.

[image via Truth Frequency Radio, Wikipedia]