Costa Mesa Fire Captain Struck by Suspected DUI Driver Dies

MISSION VIEJO (CNS) - A Costa Mesa fire captain who was struck by a suspected drugged driver while bicycling over the weekend died today at a hospital.

“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,” according to a Twitter post from the Costa Mesa Fire Department. “RIP brother Mike, we love you!”

The department later added that the department “is overwhelmed with the love & support from our collective communities.”

Kreza's body was escorted in a solemn procession Monday morning from Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo to the Orange County coroner's office.

Kreza, a married father of three daughters, was training for a triathlon, and was bicycling around 8 a.m. Saturday on eastbound Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos when he was struck by a van, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Kreza, an 18-year veteran of the department, was hospitalized in critical condition until his death Monday morning.

The driver of the van, Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, of Mission Viejo, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. Multiple prescription medications were found inside his van, Braun said.

Scarpa was evaluated at the scene and subsequently arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, Braun said. He was booked into the Orange County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Anyone with information on the crash was asked be deputies to call the Orange County Sheriff's Department at (714) 647-7000 or Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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