A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was not negligent when he crossed into a bike lane and fatally struck a prominent entertainment lawyer who was riding his bicycle in Calabasas in December, prosecutors said in their decision not to charge the deputy with vehicular manslaughter.
Deputy Andrew Francis Wood entered the bike lane and hit Milton Everett Olin Jr. in Calabasas "as a result of inattention caused by typing" on his patrol car computer on Dec. 8, 2013, officials said.
"Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking'' Milton Everett Olin Jr., who was riding east in the bicycle lane on Mulholland Highway shortly after 1 p.m. Dec. 8, 2013, according to the charge evaluation worksheet.
Wood entered the bicycle lane "as a result of inattention caused by typing into his MDC (mobile digital computer)," according to the charge evaluation worksheet, which said Wood was responding to another deputy who asked if an investigation had been done at Calabasas High School.
He was acting lawfully and within the "course and scope of his duties when he began to type his response," prosecutors said.
Sheriff's officials declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
Olin's family sued the county July 16, alleging wrongful death and claiming the deputy was negligent. The lawsuit, which also names the Sheriff's Department and Wood, seeks unspecified monetary damages.
Olin, 65, was a former chief operating officer for Napster.