SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A Mission Viejo man has been charged with murder in the alleged drugged-driving crash that fatally injured an off-duty Costa Mesa Fire captain Saturday morning.
Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, was charged Tuesday with one felony count of murder in the killing of 44-year-old Costa Mesa Fire Capt. Mike Kreza, a husband and father of three. Scarpa is scheduled to make his first court appearance later in the day.READ MORE: Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Michael Vivona In Attack On Elderly Korean Couple At Grijalva Park In Orange
Prosecutors say Scarpa was under the influence of multiple controlled substances Saturday morning when he drove into a bike lane on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo, onto a sidewalk, and struck Kreza while he was bicycling.READ MORE: Father Of Kristin Smart Murder Suspect Released From Jail After Posting Bail
Kreza, an 18-year veteran of Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue, was left unconscious and suffering from severe head and body trauma. Even after brain surgery, Kreza never regained consciousness and passed away early Monday morning at Mission Hospital.
Scarpa remained at the scene of the crash, where he was evaluated by a drug recognition expert. Deputies found several prescription medications in his van and arrested him.MORE NEWS: Temecula Businessman Charged In $7M COVID Relief Fraud
If convicted as charged, Scarpa faces 15 years to life in state prison.