In Vista, a well-known big-wave surfer has been accused of very severe charges after a night of drinking. According to authorities, the man has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of felony DUI in connection with a car crash that killed his
Milton Willis, a 52-year-old of Solana Beach, faces a $500,000 arrest warrant, says a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office. His charge is worth a sentence of up to eleven years and eight months in prison. The passenger in his vehicle, 24-year-old Bradley Dillahunty, of Laguna Niguel, died that early morning in the crash on June 6 in Del Mar. Milton Willis lost control on Coast Boulevard when he was driving Dillahunty’s Toyota Avalon at more than 65-mph in a 25-mph zone.
According to a sheriff’s sergeant said alcohol was believed to be a factor because Willis “had the odor of alcohol on him.” Local authorities have declined to release the results of Willis’ toxicology tests.
For many past years, Willis and his brother, Michael Willis, have maintained a surfing camp in Del Mar and given motivational speeches. The twins also participated in writing a book together, “Discover the Greatness in You,” and are well-known in the surfing industry.
On the night of the incident authorities said Willis picked up 24-year-old Bradley Dilliahunty at Jimmy O’s Sports Bar and Restaurant in Del Mar shortly before the 1:42 a.m. crash. Almost a half-mile north of the sports bar, Willis drove past a stop sign on Coast at 20th Street and lost control. The Avalon slid across the lane and hit a parked car and then slammed into a palm tree on the passenger side. The vehicle then spun around and hit a car in a nearby driveway.
Willis was not wearing a seatbelt and fell partly out of the rear window and has been hospitalized in critical condition. Dillahunty was wearing a seatbelt.