California fire captain dies after being struck by suspected DUI driver while riding bike, officials say
A beloved California fire captain, who was struck Saturday morning by a driver suspected of DUI, died Monday, officials said.
Costa Mesa Fire Capt. Mike Kreza was off-duty and riding his bike on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos just after 8 a.m. Saturday when Stephen Taylor Scarpa crashed his van into the 18-year veteran, police said.
Kreza leaves behind a wife and three daughters. A GoFundMe page was created Saturday to support the Kreza family. More than $75,000 had been raised as of Monday morning.
Scarpa appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash, according to authorities. The 25-year-old stayed at the scene after the collision, said officials, who added multiple prescription medications were discovered in the vehicle. He was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, though other charges could be added. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
Kreza was found unresponsive and rushed to the hospital, where he was surrounded by his friends, family and firefighters.
“Our brother, Mike Kreza passed away early this morning. Words alone cannot describe the immeasurable heartache felt by his friends & family, including his fire family,” Costa Mesa Fire Department wrote on Twitter. “No further information will be provided at this time. RIP brother Mike, we love you!”
Kreza, who was off-duty, was training for Ironman Arizona, a triathlon being held on Nov. 18, when he was fatally struck, the Costa Mesa Fire Fighters Association wrote on Facebook. The fire department shared a photo of Kreza with his wife and three young daughters.
“Our entire Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue family is immensely saddened by the news that one of our own was involved in an accident this morning,” Chief Dan Stefano said in a statement Saturday.