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Detective drunk, texting before fatal crash, report says

May 08, 2013|By Lauren Williams

In the moments before a car crash that killed a Costa Mesa police detective, the officer was sending and receiving text messages and had been drinking at local restaurants, according to an investigation conducted by Newport Beach police.

Det. Mike Delgadillo, 57, died March 6, the day after his 2000 Mazda crashed into a pillar under the 55 Freeway near Newport Boulevard and Bristol Street.

At the time of the crash, Delgadillo was not wearing a seat belt, according to Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Kathy Lowe, who released information included in the investigation into Delgadillo's death. She did not give a reason police would not release the report to the media.

Delgadillo's blood-alcohol level was 0.14% — above the legal limit of 0.08%.

Newport Beach police investigators determined that Delgadillo drank at Mi Casa restaurant in Costa Mesa between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m and at Skosh Monahan's between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. before the fatal crash, according to Lowe.

Newport Beach police did not determine how much Delgadillo drank at each location, or whether he had been drinking prior to arriving at Mi Casa.

"Mike was a very good person, a good officer, and this whole incident was a tragedy," said City Councilman Gary Monahan, who owns Skosh's.

Delgadillo was a 32-year veteran of the Costa Mesa Police Department who worked several different assignments, including the department's gang unit and narcotics, and most recently in the crimes against persons detail.

He was off-duty at the time of the crash.

The primary cause of the crash was determined to be driving under the influence of alcohol, with making an unsafe turning movement as a contributing factor, Lowe said.

The Costa Mesa Police Department was given the results of the investigation, she said.

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lauren.williams@latimes.com

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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