A Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy who hit and killed a former chief operating officer of the online file-sharing service Napster in December was texting, the Los Angeles Daily News reported, citing court documents.
Milton Everett Olin Jr., 65, of Woodland Hills died Dec. 8, 2013, when he was struck by a sheriff’s patrol car while riding a bicycle, authorities said.
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Deputy Andrew 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., the Daily News said, citing subpoenaed cellphone records attached to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed with Los Angeles Superior Court in May.
Witnesses said that the deputy's car failed to negotiate a curve and no brake lights were seen before the collision. Wood has declined to comment, the Daily News reported.
The Daily News said it's not clear whether Wood was texting at the exact moment of the collision or if texting was a factor.
But Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Detective Russell A. Townsley said in court documents that it appeared Wood may have been distracted by his cellphone or squad car computer.
Olin and the patrol car were traveling in the same direction on Mulholland Highway in suburban Calabasas when the collision occurred, sheriff’s officials said.
Olin was in the bicycle lane when he was struck, officials said.
He landed on the windshield, shattering the glass before rolling off the cruiser to the street.
Wood was taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts and bruises.
In addition to once serving as a top executive for Napster, Olin was a prominent entertainment attorney for Altschul & Olin LLP, which he co-founded.
Prior to Napster, Olin worked for A&M Records as vice president of business development and was responsible for signing artists and acquiring music rights.
Napster was a pioneer in online music sharing, leading to lawsuits by Metallica and other acts in 2000. The suits eventually forced a settlement that required Napster to evolve into a pay-for-use service that became something of a model for today’s streaming companies.