Surfer sentenced to four years in DUI death

A professional surfer who was drunk when he crashed his speeding car in Del Mar last year, killing his 24-year-old passenger, was sentenced today to four years in state prison.

Milton Willis, 53, pleaded guilty on June 18 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and an allegation that his actions on June 6, 2008, caused great bodily injury to Bradley Dillahunty of Laguna Niguel.

Vista Judge Daniel Goldstein could have sentenced Willis to a maximum 10 years in prison.

Willis was critically injured in the 1:40 a.m. crash at Coast Boulevard and 20th Street and had to be hospitalized. Authorities said Willis, who had borrowed Dillahunty’s car, lost control of the Toyota Avalon while driving about 65 mph in a 25-mph zone. The sedan hit a parked car and smashed into a palm tree.

Sheriff’s officials said evidence at the scene — including a strong odor of alcohol — suggested that drinking was a “major” causative factor in the wreck. Just prior to the accident, Dillahunty, who worked as a musician, had been at Jimmy O’s, a sports bar-restaurant on West 15th in Del Mar, sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Webb said at the time. It was not clear where Willis had been in the hours leading up to the accident.

Willis, who ran a North County surf school with his identical twin, Michael, is famed for plying some of the world’s largest waves and credited as a developer of “tow-in surfing,” in which a surfer is pulled onto a very large breaker by a cord attached to a personal watercraft or helicopter.

The Willis brothers also established the first surfing class in a U.S. public high school in 1972 and co-authored a book of philosophical essays inspired by their surfing careers.

Related posts:

  1. Former columnist, professional surfer charged with vehicular manslaughter
  2. Willis’ sentencing postponed until Sept. 23.
  3. Cravens sentenced to 20 years to life
  4. Man sentenced for sexually assaulting woman in Solana Beach
  5. Suspects in professors death could get death penalty

Short URL: http://www.delmartimes.net/?p=7174

Posted by on Sep 24, 2009. Filed under Archives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Archives

Facebook

Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6

LA JOLLA NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

RSS RANCHO SANTA FE NEWS

  • Alumni and Advancement Center named for longtime supporters Larry and Cindy Bloch of Rancho Santa Fe
    The University of Rochester’s Alumni and Advancement Center in Rochester, N.Y. has been renamed the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center in recognition of the couple’s support of the university and, in particular, its Advancement programs. In a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 15, UR President Joel Seligman formally dedicated the center in honor of […]
  • RSF Association Board Biz: It’s fire season: Be prepared
    The Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District (RSFFPD) was officially formed in 1946, in the aftermath of a devastating fire that took place in 1943 and destroyed brush, farmland and homes from Rancho Bernardo through Rancho Santa Fe, all the way to Solana Beach and Del Mar. Today the Fire District spans 38 square miles and protects nearly 30,000 residents. W […]
  • Rancho Santa Fe couple lead way in helping those with thyroid disorders
    Few people may know that Graves’ disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases afflicting Americans today. Fewer still may know that the only national non-profit dedicated to its patients is headquartered in Rancho Santa Fe. The Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation, co-chaired by Rancho Santa Fe residents Kathleen Bell Flynn and Steve Flynn, has be […]