Loved ones said their final farewells to Mike Kreza, a Costa Mesa fire captain who died after being struck by a suspected DUI driver while riding his bicycle earlier this month, during a memorial service Friday.
Kreza was training for a triathlon and riding his bike on Nov. 3 near his Mission Viejo home when he was struck and critically injured by a van, authorities said.
He died from his injuries at a hospital two days later. He’s survived by a wife and three daughters.
Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Chief Dan Stefano thanked the community members, officials and fellow first responders who have supported Kreza’s family and colleagues as they have mourned his loss in recent weeks.
“Today is a celebration and a time for us to honor, share and pay tribute to fire Capt. Mike Kreza, a man of faith, a family man and a true hero,” the chief said. “For those of you today that knew mike, you have been blessed, and you know it, we all do.”
Kreza’s wife read a letter to her husband.
“I can’t put one foot in front of the other. I can’t live when half of my heart and soul is gone,” she said. “All I know is this gaping hole in my heart was once filled by the most loving, selfless human being I’ve ever known. I love you. Every person who knew you loved you instantly. You were my definition of a family man. You always put us first.”
Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, of Missino Viejo faces a murder charge in connection with the crash that crash that claimed Kreza’s life. He’s accused of being “under the influence of multiple controlled substances” at the time of the deadly collision, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a written statement.
Scarpa’s bail has been set at $2 million, Orange County booking records show. He’s scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court to answer to the charge on Nov. 30. If convicted as charges, he faces up to 15 years to life in state prison.