Drugged driving is suspected after a car struck and seriously injured a Costa Mesa fire captain as he rode his bike on Saturday morning, authorities said.
Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Capt. Mike Kreza was fighting for his life at a hospital following the collision, which took place about 8 a.m. on Alicia Parkway, near Via Burgos, the Orange County Sheriff's Department and Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Departments said in a joint statement.
Witnesses relayed that Kreza was riding his bike east along Alicia Parkway when he was hit, officials said. The driver remained at the scene.
Investigators determined the driver, 25-year-old Stephen Taylor Scarp, was under the influence of drugs and arrested him on suspicion of felony DUI, the statement said. "Multiple prescription medications were in his vehicle."
Kreza is an 18-year veteran of Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue, according to the agency. He was training for the Ironman Arizona race when he was hit.
“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," Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Chief Dan Stefano said.
"We are working together to support the family and each other," he said. "We appreciate the strong showing of support from our brothers and sisters of the Orange County fire services and law enforcement agencies that have reached out to assist us during this difficult time for our fire family. Please continue to keep Captain Mike Kreza, his wife and children in your thoughts and prayers.”
A fund to help the captain's family has been set up online at gofundme.com/the-kreza-family-fund.
Scarp's bail has been set at $100,000 pending his initial court appearance on Tuesday, Orange County booking records show.