Thursday, September 08, 2005

Why these people need to go

L.A. Daily News
AGUA DULCE - A paramedic heading home from an overnight shift was killed at dawn Tuesday when a motorist - an illegal immigrant with a lengthy rap sheet - plowed into him on a rural stretch of Sierra Highway, the Highway Patrol reported. Co-workers of Lancaster resident Michael Sprinkles, a 37-year-old husband and father of two, were among the first to respond to the 6:30 a.m. collision north of Canyon Country. "It seems like it's always the good guys, you know?" said Greg Schowen, public affairs manager for American Medical Response, the ambulance company that employed Sprinkles for 10 years. "Mike was a total family guy, a good friend and a hard worker. He always volunteered when we needed someone to help out." Sprinkles, riding a motorcycle, was heading home to Lancaster after a 24-hour shift at Los Angeles County Fire Station 107 in Canyon Country. Coming the opposite direction was Juan Bibinz, 38, of Littlerock, driving a Mazda Protege, CHP Officer Wendy Hahn said. According to witnesses, Bibinz had been driving recklessly and crossed the double-yellow center line south of Davenport Road, where his vehicle slammed head-on into Sprinkles, Hahn said. Bibinz suffered minor injuries and was treated in the jail ward at Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center. He was arrested and upon his release will be booked on suspicion of felony manslaughter and reckless driving resulting in death, she said. "(Sprinkles) was just off work and was going home," Hahn said. "The Mazda crossed the double yellow lines right into the motorcycle." Bibinz, she said, is an illegal immigrant who has been arrested a dozen times and was deported once to Mexico. He has been convicted of four felonies, drug charges, thefts and a count of willful cruelty to a child, for which he served five days in jail. Bibinz did not appear to be intoxicated, she said. Bibinz was most recently arrested July 18 on suspicion of petty theft in Hawthorne and was released the next day, sheriff's records show. At the AMR regional office in Lancaster, which operates ambulance service in the north county, grief counselors were available Tuesday to meet with the staff. Sprinkles helped train new paramedics and taught the company's driver training program. He is survived by his wife, Rose, and sons, Austin, 12, and Logan, 9.