Costa Mesa Fire Captain Remains in Critical Condition After Being Hit by DUI Suspect While Riding Bike

A Costa Mesa fire captain remained in critical condition Sunday after being struck by a DUI suspect during a bike ride in Mission Viejo, officials said.

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Capt. Mike Kreza is seen with his family in an image posted to GoFundMe on Nov. 3, 2018.

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue Capt. Mike Kreza is seen with his family in an image posted to GoFundMe on Nov. 3, 2018.

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue said Capt. Mike Kreza was still unresponsive as of 12:30 p.m., and that "the next several hours are critical."

The crash happened Saturday morning on Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos, according to a joint statement from the fire department and the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Witnesses said the driver of a van struck Kreza as he was riding eastbound on Alicia Parkway. The captain, an 18-year veteran with Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue, was off-duty at the time. He was training for a triathlon event in Arizona, according to the Costa Mesa Fire Fighters Association.

The Sheriff's Department said it responded to the location shortly after 8 a.m. and found the victim on the ground unresponsive with apparent trauma to the head and body. The O.C. Fire Authorities took him to a local hospital.

The motorist remained at the scene, where a deputy evaluated him for DUI. The driver, identified as 25-year-old Stephen Taylor Scarpa, appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash, authorities said. Officials also reported finding multiple prescription medications inside his vehicle.

Scarpa was booked into jail on $100,000 bail.

Deputies with the Sheriff's Department held a candlelight vigil for Kreza on Saturday evening.

Costa Mesa Fire and Rescue said the captain was surrounded by his family and friends.

"We are eternally grateful for the outpouring of support from our brothers and sisters from fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and the collective communities throughout the state," the agency said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Kreza and his family. It has raised nearly $57,000 by Sunday afternoon.

 

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