In December of 2013, Los Angeles County police officer Andrew Wood struck and killed former Napster executive and music industry attorney Milt Olin, who was cycling on Mulholland Drive in Calabasas, CA. Olin was riding squarely in the shoulder; Wood was typing on his in-dash computer and veered off the road, killing Olin by effectively running over him.
Wood was not responding to any emergency at the time, and was essentially texting while the accident occurred.
After an internal investigation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department ultimately found Wood not guilty of vehicular manslaughter and negligence. It was determined that Wood was using his in-dash computer “within the course and scope of his duties while he typed while driving,” and therefore not guilty of any wrongdoing.
Now, those ‘normal procedures’ are being changed, thanks in part to Olin’s death.
Effective immediately, the department is now requiring its cops to use their radios as a primary mode of communication, and prohibits in-car computer use while driving. “It’s been an ongoing challenge, [Olin’s death] did bring the issue into greater focus and helped us refine our thinking on distracted driving.”
Olin’s family is pursing a civil lawsuit against the department.