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Family of Cyclist Killed in Collision with Deputy in Calabasas to Sue County, Lawyer Says

The family of Milton Everett Olin Jr. of Woodland Hills is frustrated that they can't get a copy of the incident report and that charges against the deputy -- who may have been texting at the time -- have not been filed.

The family of Milton Everett Olin Jr. plans to sue Los Angeles County in wake of his fatal collision with a sheriff's squad car. Patch file photo.
The family of Milton Everett Olin Jr. plans to sue Los Angeles County in wake of his fatal collision with a sheriff's squad car. Patch file photo.

The family of a prominent entertainment attorney who was fatally struck by a sheriff's deputy while bike riding in Calabasas will announce a lawsuit tomorrow against the county.

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."

A search warrant affidavit obtained by the Daily News indicated that Wood, a 16-year department veteran, may have been text messaging when he struck the bicyclist. 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."

An official with the Los Angeles County Counsel's Office told the Daily News the office does not comment on cases under investigation or subject to litigation.

No charges have been filed yet against Wood.

Broillet plans to announce the lawsuit against the county at a noon news conference Wednesday outside the County Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles. He claimed that although eight months have passed since Olin's death, the family has been unable to even obtain a copy of the collision report.

--City News Service


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