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Mission Viejo Man Charged With Murder In Costa Mesa Fire Captain's Death

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — A Mission Viejo man has been charged with murder in the alleged drugged-driving crash that fatally injured an off-duty Costa Mesa Fire captain Saturday morning.

Stephen Taylor Scarpa
A mug shot for 25-year-old Stephen Taylor Scarpa, who is charged with murder in a collision which killed a Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue captain who was biking in Mission Viejo on Nov. 3, 2018. (Orange County Sheriff's Department)

Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, was charged Tuesday with one felony count of murder in the killing of 44-year-old Costa Mesa Fire Capt. Mike Kreza, a husband and father of three. Scarpa is scheduled to make his first court appearance later in the day.

Prosecutors say Scarpa was under the influence of multiple controlled substances Saturday morning when he drove into a bike lane on Alicia Parkway in Mission Viejo, onto a sidewalk, and struck Kreza while he was bicycling.

Kreza, an 18-year veteran of Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue, was left unconscious and suffering from severe head and body trauma. Even after brain surgery, Kreza never regained consciousness and passed away early Monday morning at Mission Hospital.

Scarpa remained at the scene of the crash, where he was evaluated by a drug recognition expert. Deputies found several prescription medications in his van and arrested him.

If convicted as charged, Scarpa faces 15 years to life in state prison.

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