ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — Michael Beal has worked with Derek Haskayne for decades. Beal has watched alcohol take him on a downward spiral documented in many booking photos. In the last six years Haskayne was arrested nine times for driving under the influence.
“I’d seen it coming again. I said this is gonna happen again and sure enough,” Beal said. “I’d see him in the morning, I knew what was going on. Kinda passed out. Not good.”
This week the 53-year-old business man who runs a successful company manufacturing tools in Placentia, took a plea deal: four years in prison. His attorney says the maximum penalty allowed under the law for a non-violent felony DUI is five years. The sentence came after he got behind the wheel again earlier this month and struck a light pole in Laguna Beach. He wasn’t supposed to be driving. Luckily in all of his DUI’s nobody was hurt.
“Derek’s a great guy. He means well. He helps people. It’s unfortunate that happened,” Beal said.
Beal says a few circumstances led to his downfall. He says Haskayne’s wife left him for her father’s best friend. Then his father died. Then he turned to alcohol to numb the pain, Beal says.
This Orange County mom hope he stays behind bars.
“There comes a time when you have to pay the consequences for the poor choices,” Victoria Bennett said. “Our family’s safety and the community’s safety is important as well.”