An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy continues to hold a valid driver’s license, months after he blacked out behind the wheel and caused a fatal accident. The DMV says it is still reviewing the case.
The Department of Motor Vehicles says the agency’s Driver Safety Branch is reviewing the medical and driving history of L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy Michael Cedarland. While off-duty last December, Cederland reportedly suffered a seizure and lost consciousness, causing him to crash his SUV into a Starbucks coffee shop.
That accident injured two patrons and killed 30-year-old Sergio Mendez, a California National Guardsman and Marine who served in Iraq.
"He’s going through our driver safety office" to see if he's safe behind the wheel, according to Jan Mendoza of the DMV.
"They're going to look at his medical records, his medical history," Mendoza explained. "By law they can suspend, revoke or give him a restricted license."
In regards to this particular case, Mendoza says she "doesn't know where they are" and "couldn't comment anyway."
Mendoza says medical confidentiality laws prohibit her from speaking about Cedarland’s case, except to confirm he still holds a valid California driver’s license.
Accident reports and DMV records indicate the DMV apparently violated its own policy by failing to suspend Cedarland’s license after the fatality. Mendoza could not say why no action has yet been taken.
Cedarland’s license was temporarily suspended earlier last year after he suffered a seizure at work. He has another seizure at home, three weeks after the Starbucks crash, leading to an epilepsy diagnosis.
The Ventura County District Attorney's office is reviewing the Starbucks crash case to determine if criminal charges against Cedarland are warranted.