Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN SENTENCED FOR INJURING BICYCLIST IN DRUNKEN DRIVING HIT-AND-RUN CRASH
*Defendant had a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit
SANTA ANA – A Long Beach Fire Department Captain was sentenced today for severely injuring a cyclist in a mid-day hit-and-run crash while driving with a blood alcohol level of .24 percent, three times the legal limit. John David Hines, 39, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to a court offer Sept. 6, 2011, to one felony count each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol .08 percent or more causing injury, hit and run with injury, and sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level over .20 percent. Prior to his sentencing, Hines served 86 days in state prison for a diagnostic evaluation. He was sentenced today to four years and four months in state prison stayed pending successful completion of five years of formal probation and one year in jail. He was also ordered to pay $102,000 in restitution to the victim.
The People argued that Hines should be sentences to a state prison term based on the severity of the crime and that he should be held to a higher standard because he has worked as a paramedic, responded to scenes such as this, and knows first-hand based on his job the dangers of drinking and driving.
On the morning of April 1, 2011, Hines consumed alcohol and became severely intoxicated at a bar in Long Beach. At approximately 1:20 p.m. on April 1, 2011, Hines drove erratically under the influence of alcohol eastbound on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach in his Chevrolet pick-up truck.
While driving, Hines lost control of his vehicle and suddenly swerved into the bike lane and dirt shoulder. Without slowing or hitting his brakes, he crashed into 47-year-old bicyclist Jeffrey Gordon. The victim was thrown from his bike over 70 feet and landed on the shoulder of the road. Hines failed to slow or hit his brakes after crashing into the victim and fled the scene.
Two separate drivers who witnessed the crash followed the defendant and called 911. Hines drove to his Huntington Beach home, where he was contacted by the Huntington Beach and Seal Beach Police Departments.