Fire captain pleads guilty to alcohol-related crash

A Long Beach fire captain was found guilty Tuesday of severely injuring a cyclist while driving intoxicated with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

In a plea deal offered by the Orange County district attorney, Huntington Beach resident John David Hines, 38, pleaded guilty to one felony count each for driving under the influence and causing bodily injury, driving with a high blood alcohol level and injuring the cyclist before leaving the scene, with a sentencing enhancement for causing bodily injury while driving with a high blood alcohol level, prosecutors said.

Hines was ordered to serve 90 days in state prison for a diagnostic evaluation to determine his suitability for state prison, according to prosecutors. Once completed, he is expected to be sentenced Dec. 2 in Santa Ana.

He faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months in state prison, prosecutors said.

After getting intoxicated at about 1:20 p.m. April 1 at the Schooner or Later restaurant and bar in Long Beach, Hines drove erratically, losing control on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach and crashing into a 47-year-old bicyclist.

Hines then fled the scene.

Two drivers who witnessed the crash followed Hines and called 911, prosecutors said. He was contacted by the Huntington Beach and Seal Beach police departments at his home.

The bicyclist, Jeffrey Gordon, was transported to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center for multiple injuries ranging from head trauma to internal injuries and spinal and vertebrae injuries, prosecutors said.

He spent two weeks in the hospital and continues to suffer from his injuries.

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