Cyclist's Family Claims Deputy Involved in Fatal Calabasas Collision Was Negligent

The family of Milton Everett Olin Jr. of Woodland Hills filed a lawsuit today against the county, the Sheriff's Department and the deputy.

Milton Everett Olin Jr. died in December when his bicycle collided with an LASD squad car in Calabasas. Patch file photo.
Milton Everett Olin Jr. died in December when his bicycle collided with an LASD squad car in Calabasas. Patch file photo.

Originally posted at 2:50 p.m. July 16, 2014. Edited with new details.

The family of a prominent entertainment attorney who was fatally struck by a sheriff's department patrol car while bike riding in Calabasas filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the county today, claiming the deputy driving the vehicle was negligent.

Milton Everett Olin Jr., 65, a former chief operating officer for Napster, was struck and killed Dec. 8 while riding in a bike lane in the 22000 block of Mulholland Highway. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Wood, who was driving the patrol car that struck Olin, suffered minor injuries.

"This accident never should have happened," Olin family attorney Bruce Broillet said. "The negligence of a sheriff's deputy caused this terrible tragedy."

Broillet said that although eight months have passed since Olin's death, the family has been unable to even obtain a copy of the collision report.

"We seek by this lawsuit to provide for accountability for what happened to this wonderful family, the profound loss that they suffered, the devastating void that has been created in their lives and also to help prevent anything like this happening again to any other family," Broillet said.

Olin's son, Christopher, said his family is still grieving.

"It is difficult to get any sense of closure," Olin said.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit, which names the county, the Sheriff's Department and Wood, seeks unspecified damages.

County spokesman David Sommers said the county had no comment on pending litigation.

A search warrant affidavit recently obtained by the Daily News indicated that Wood, a 16-year department veteran, may have been text messaging when he struck the cyclist. According to the court document, Wood sent six text messages to a Camarillo phone number between 1 and 1:04 p.m. -- roughly the time Olin was struck.

The deputy had been returning from a call at Calabasas High School when he struck Olin.

"Witnesses who were in a vehicle directly behind Deputy Wood's radio car at the time of the collision told investigators that the radio car failed to negotiate the left curve in the roadway and proceeded straight into the bicycle lane," sheriff's Detective Russell A. Townsley wrote in the affidavit, according to the Daily News. "The witness also stated that they did not see any brake lights on the radio car until after they saw Mr. Olin's body in the air."

Townsley noted in the document that "it appears 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."

No charges have been filed yet against Wood.

--City News Service


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