'Pulp Fiction' Screenwriter Apologizes for Fatal Accident; Drunken Driving Suspected

An Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Pulp Fiction," accused of drunken driving after a weekend accident that killed a passenger visiting from Italy, apologized Monday.

Avary, 42, was driving early Sunday when his car spun out of control and hit a telephone pole in Ojai. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony drunken driving.

Killed in the crash was Andreas Zini, 34, a resident of Italy who was apparently visiting Avary and his wife, Gretchen, 40, according to the sheriff's department. Gretchen Avary was seriously injured but is expected to survive, said Capt. Jerry Hernandez.

"Roger wishes to publicly convey his heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased," said a statement released by publicist Julie Polkes. "Words cannot express how sorry he is, and this tragic accident will always haunt him."

Firefighters cut Zini from the car, and he died several hours later at Ventura County Medical Center. An autopsy Monday determined that he died of "blunt force chest and abdominal injuries," said Shasta Gainer, deputy medical examiner.

Gretchen Avary was thrown from the car and found in the road by sheriff's deputies.

Avary, who is free on $50,000 bail, faces arraignment Friday.

Avary won an Academy Award along with Quentin Tarantino for writing "Pulp Fiction," and was also a co-writer of the recent epic "Beowulf." He and his wife live in Ojai, an artists' colony and tourist destination near Ventura, northwest of Los Angeles