Mike Kreza (center)
Costa Mesa Fire Department
November 06, 2018 03:21 PM

A 44-year-old California fire captain who was training for a triathlon was killed last week by a suspected drunk driver while he was riding his bicycle, PEOPLE confirms.

Mike Kreza, who was married with children and had served in the Costa Mesa Fire & Rescue Department for 18 years, was struck in Mission Viejo on Saturday, according to the fire & rescue department’s news release.

“From initial witness statements, the driver of a van struck the victim while he was riding his bicycle eastbound on Alicia Parkway,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in its own news release.

Kreza was taken to a hospital with injuries to his head and body. He had been training for the IRONMAN triathlon in Arizona, according to the Costa Mesa Fire Fighters Association.

The driver, identified as 25-year-old Stephen Taylor Scarpa, was arrested on Saturday for felony driving under the influence and remains in custody in lieu of $2 million bail, according to online jail records.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Sheriff’s officials said that after the collision, Scarpa “remained at the scene and was evaluated for DUI by an OCSD deputy trained as a drug recognition expert. He is suspected to be under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the collision and multiple prescription medications were in his vehicle.”

Scarpa will be arraigned on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the OCSD tells PEOPLE. It was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

In a statement on Twitter Monday, Kreza’s fire department mourned his passing:

“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.”

“RIP brother Mike, we love you!” added the fire department, which held a procession for Kreza from Mission Hospital to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Before Kreza’s death, the fire department tweeted that he was “still unresponsive and in critical condition” and that “the next several hours are critical.”

RELATED: Newlyweds Killed in Car Crash Going to Honeymoon: ‘An Adventure Together’ They Hadn’t ‘Planned’

The department’s tweet continued, “Captain Kreza is surrounded by his family & friends, including his fire family.” Kreza has three daughters, according to local TV station KABC.

A GoFundMe set up for the Kreza family has raised more than $144,000, more than quintupling its $25,000 goal.

You May Like