2014-02-20 / Front Page

Case involving cyclist death being turned over to D.A.

Sheriff ’s deputy under investigation
By Sylvie Belmond

A team of investigators from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office will soon take possession of the case involving the Calabasas highway collision that killed cyclist Milton Olin Jr. on Dec. 8, 2013.

L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy Andrew Wood was heading east on Mulholland Highway when his patrol car struck the 65-year-old Olin, who was also riding his bicycle east on the uphill straightaway near A.C. Stelle Middle School.

Wood, who was on patrol out of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, reportedly was leaving from a call at Calabasas High School when he encountered Olin’s bicycle on the road.

Olin, a former Napster executive and prominent attorney from Woodland Hills, died at the scene.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Traffic Services Detail, a unit which examines accidents involving deputies, is reportedly finishing up its investigation.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Joseph Jakl, lead investigator for the case, said his team is preparing to hand over its report to a team from the District Attorney’s Office that deals with incidents involving law enforcement officers.

The D. A. has several options. It could reject the case, charge Dep. Wood with a misdemeanor or a felony, or send the case back to investigators for a follow-up probe.

“We are looking at all aspects of the collision, we documented the scene with all the evidence, and the investigation is nearly done. Because there is a fatality involved, it’s not something that goes lightly,” Jakl said.

“ I have to look at the case from both sides, try to give Olin a voice and look at it from the deputy’s point of view. But I’m not doing anything special here; this is how I would work any traffic fatality,” Jakl said.

“I want to do it all fairly and impartially. This is why Traffic Detail has taken the case,” he said.

Vehicular manslaughter can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the circumstances.

And authorities aren’t saying whether speeding or distracted driving played a role in the collision.

“Until the D.A. makes a decision, nothing will be presented to the public,” said Capt. Pat Davoren of the Lost Hills station.

Wood, a 16-year veteran with the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, recently transferred to the Sheriff’s Department court services division. He had made a request for the transfer one year ago, Davoren said.

According to the report, it appears the section of Mulholland where the fatal accident occurred is well marked and plainly laid out.

“There is nothing in the design of the road that contributed to this crash,” Jakl said.

The road contains a bike lane and meets all state standards, Calabasas City Manager Tony Coroalles told The Acorn.

Return to top