Man sentenced 13 years for DUI crash that killed bicyclist in Balboa Park

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man who was driving under the influence of drugs when he fatally struck a bicyclist in Balboa Park was sentenced Monday to 13 years behind bars.

Adam David Milavetz, 39, pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and other charges for the July 20, 2021, death of 57- year-old Laura Shinn, an architect and director of facilities planning at San Diego State University.

Milavetz was sentenced Monday to three years in county jail for several misdemeanor counts that include drug possession charges, then a consecutive term of 10 years in state prison for the manslaughter count and other felonies.

Milavetz remains a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by Shinn’s widower, Steven Shinn. The lawsuit also names the city of San Diego and the San Diego Association of Governments as defendants, alleging bicycle infrastructure on Pershing Drive was insufficient to protect Shinn and other cyclists.

At Milavetz’s sentencing hearing, Steven Shinn said he and his wife met at the University of Virginia School of Architecture and were married for 34 years.

“Losing her was like losing half of my body and soul,” said Shinn, who stated in court that his wife was biking “to the job she loved” on the morning she was killed.

“I’ve lost over a year as I’ve tried to rebuild my life without her and learn to live again, but Laura lost the last third of her entire life. Her sentence was permanent,” he said.

Police said that at about 7:30 a.m., Shinn was struck from behind while riding in the bike lane on Pershing Drive. She was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest, where she was pronounced dead shortly after arriving, according to the Medical Examiner’s office.

At Milavetz’s preliminary hearing last year, Deputy District Attorney Kelsey Hollander alleged that after the crash, Milavetz got out of his car, ran across the street and dumped a bag over a fence. The bag was later recovered by police, and inside were smaller bags containing a white substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine, according to testimony.

Milavetz remained at the scene and was arrested there.

A subsequent search of his car turned up methamphetamine, fentanyl and hypodermic needles, according to preliminary hearing testimony.

Categories: Traffic & Accidents