LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The family of a man who was struck and killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy who was texting at the time of the collision will receive $11.75 million.

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the settlement in the case of Milt Olin, Jr., an entertainment lawyer and former Napster executive killed by a distracted deputy while he was riding his bicycle in Calabasas.

According to a summary of the case provided to the supervisors, on the afternoon of Dec. 8, 2013, LASD deputy Andrew Wood swerved onto the bike lane on Mulholland Hwy. while he was typing information into the patrol vehicle’s mobile computer. Wood then struck Olin, causing him to crash through the cruiser’s windshield before landing on the ground.

Olin died at the scene.

The Olin family claims Wood was texting his wife at the time of the accident.

The near-$12 million settlement is one of the largest the county has ever paid out, according to City News Service.

In 2014, L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey failed to charge Wood criminally, though an internal LASD investigation found Wood did violate some department policy, for which he was reprimanded.

According to court documents, Wood initially told investigators Olin was the one who swerved out of the bike lane and denied he was either texting or looking at the mobile computer. When asked to turn in his cellphone, Wood said he had thrown it away because it was broken.

Wood is still a deputy with the LASD but is assigned to court duties.

After Olin’s death, the LASD created an ad hoc committee to address the issue of distracted driving, CNS reported.

Olin’s wife Louise created the Milt Olin Foundation in her husband’s honor. The organization’s goal “is to eliminate distracted driving related fatalities and injuries,” according to its mission statement. “Through education, community awareness, collaboration and advocacy we are part of the solution to eradicate the distracted driving epidemic.”

The past four years, five months, 21 days have been difficult and challenging for me and my family,” Louise said at a press conference Wednesday.

Olin’s attorney Bruce Broillet said, “It was the abuse of technology that led to this tragedy.”

The civil trial was slated to begin next week.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)ted. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (5)
  1. Texting is not just a “teen” problem. There are millions of employees in company cars and fleet vehicles who try to “multi-task” behind the wheel.

    While California may seek to lower distracted driving by increasing fees and regulations, there is another option. There are anti-texting apps, like AT&T DriveMode which is FREE!

    One area that is rarely discussed is that California has thousands of government vehicles that inspectors, regulators and the agricultural department use as fleet vehicles, but they do not have the technology to prevent distracted driving. I would love to see one state use a program, like FleetMode, to block texts, redirect incoming phone calls, and impede all other apps in the State vehicles. If we want our state roads to be safer, let’s start by making our state vehicles safer.

Leave a Reply