The family of a cyclist struck and killed by an on-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy while behind the wheel of a patrol car in December filed a lawsuit Wednesday, attorneys for the relatives of 65-year-old Milton Olin Jr. said.
Olin, a prominent attorney and former Napster executive, died at the scene along Mulholland Highway in Calabasas after being struck from behind by Deputy Andrew Wood, a 16-year Sheriff's Department veteran.
"This is an incident that caused a needless death of a wonderful part of our community," lead attorney, Bruce Broillet, told reporters.
Broillet said at a press conference Wednesday the family was seeking information about what happened to Olin, and using the lawsuit to press the Sheriff's Department into releasing evidence it has in the case.
"We want transparency from the Sheriff's Department," he said. "We want to know the details. We want all the evidence and it is our intention to get that."
Reports published earlier this week indicated the sheriff's deputy may have been texting shortly before the fatal collision.
Broillet said that finding is consistent with what the family believes happened.
Wood sent six text messages from his personal cellphone about the time authorities said the crash happened on Dec. 8, 2013 just after 1 p.m., according to a report in the Daily News, citing subpoenaed cellphone records attached to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed with Los Angeles Superior Court in May.
"The sheriff entered the bicycle lane and killed Mr. Olin who was right in front of him on a clear, sunny day," Broilet said.
A sheriff's report states that witnesses said the patrol car failed to negotiate a curve and made its way into the bicycle lane. Witnesses also said they did not see brake lights prior to impact.
Olin's son, Christopher, spoke out Wednesday.
"His death leaves a hole in our lives that can never be filled," he said. "We are still grieving and struggling with this enormous loss."
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said it has concluded it's investigation and turned it over to the District Attorney's office.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office has not yet decided if it will pursue possible criminal charges against Wood.