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‘Immeasurable Heartache': Firefighters Mourn Captain Struck by DUI Suspect

Capt. Mike Kreza, an 18-year member of the Costa Mesa Fire Department, was struck Saturday while riding his bicycle in Mission Viejo

A Costa Mesa fire captain who was riding his bike when he was struck by a DUI suspect has died.

Capt. Mike Kreza was hospitalized Saturday in critical condition after the crash in Mission Viejo. He died Monday morning, according to a statement from the fire department. 

"Our brother, Mike Kreza passed away early this morning," the fire department said in a tweet. "Words alone cannot describe the immeasurable heartache felt by his friends & family, including his fire family. No further information will be provided at this time. RIP brother Mike, we love you!"

A procession to the Orange County Coroner's Office with Kreza's flag-draped casket began around 10 a.m. Firefighters, including some on freeway overpasses, saluted as the motorcade passed. 

The driver, Stephen Taylor Scarpa, 25, of Mission Viejo, was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. The crash was reported just after 8 a.m. Saturday on eastbound Alicia Parkway near Via Burgos, Orange County sheriff's spokeswoman Carrie Braun said.

Kreza, off duty, was riding his bicycle and was hit by Scarpa's van.

Multiple prescription medications were found inside his van, Braun said.

Scarpa was evaluated for possible DUI at the scene and subsequently arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, Braun said. Jail records showed Scarpa remained in custody on $100,000 bond. A court date was scheduled for Monday.

It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

Kreza is an 18-year veteran of the department. He is survived by his wife and their children. 

"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 Costa Mesa Fire Department said.

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.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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