Wife Seeks Justice for Triathlete-Teacher Husband Killed on Roadway

Scott Clark, R.I.P. (Facebook)

In Room H7 at Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach this morning, a prosecutor will ask a judge to dismiss charges against a driver who was arrested in the 2017 death of a jogger who was training for his fifth Ironman triathlon.

Or, perhaps the Orange County deputy district attorney will have been swayed to stick with the case thanks to pressure from the late man’s wife, who was continuing to seek justice in the hours before this morning’s scheduled pretrial hearing.

“Due to the public outcry, I had a meeting today with Todd Spitzer,” said Christy Clark Thursday evening of Orange County’s newly sworn-in district attorney.

Her late husband Scott Clark was the 55-year-old triathlete who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time about 6:20 p.m. Jan. 25, 2017. A Mini Cooper collided with a Mercedes-Benz near the intersection of Niguel Road and Alicia Parkway in Laguna Niguel, where the Benz then struck Clark, who suffered major injuries.

He died at Mission Hospital on Feb. 8, 2017, leaving behind his wife of 30 years and two grown children. Scott Clark had been a Capistrano Unified School District teacher for 20 years, with his last assignments having been at Truman Benedict Elementary School in San Clemente and then Laguna Niguel Elementary School.

When he was laid to rest, mourners were asked to consider making donations to Mothers Against Drug Drivers. That’s because, on the night of the collision, sheriff’s deputies arrested then-34-year-old Jamie Nicole Mulford on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon (the Mini Cooper) and felony driving under the influence.

It marked Mulford’s fourth DUI-related incident, and the second that resulted in the death of a pedestrian. That happened on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles County early in the morning of June 17, 2010, but prosecutors said they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the victim, who had been walking along a freeway lane, died as a result of Mulford driving under the influence of alcohol.

Clark was a triathlete. (CaringBridge.org)

The night of the tragedy, Christy Clark says, deputies informed her that her husband was “absolutely legal in the crosswalk,” but that the case against Mulford, who was “very well known to law enforcement,” would be “very complicated. … I remember thinking, ‘How complicated could it be?’ This is a woman with three prior offenses!”

But deputies were on to something. Tests came back as “negative” for intoxication.

Prosecutors offered a new legal theory in the fall of 2017, alleging that Mulford had engaged in a road rage incident in the moments before Scott Clark was struck. She was arraigned in December 2017 on felony manslaughter with gross negligence. The toxicology reported rendered her past DUIs inadmissible.

After a year of pretrial hearings, Christy Clark says she met in December 2018 with Deputy District Attorney Brian Orue, who proposed dismissing the case against Mulford. “Of course, I was outraged,” she says, “not because I am a widow, but because he could not offer a clear explanation as to why the charges would be dropped.”

She had brought her own attorney under Marsy’s Law, the California Victims’ Bill of Rights of 2008, whose Legal Affairs director had been none other than Spitzer, a state assemblyman at the time. Clark’s attorney, Rick Welsh, “voiced concern and the decision to dismiss was postponed for further consideration,” she recalled.

On Wednesday, Clark was informed that Orue would indeed seek a dismissal today. Then came her meeting Thursday with Spitzer. She did not know heading into today’s court hearing how things will land. She has gathered friends and family to attend.

“If the case is dismissed, I will plan rallies for justice and safer streets for pedestrians and cyclists as there have been far too many deaths as a result of reckless behavior,” Clark vows. “I believe that they thought I would go away quietly. I’ll admit that I’m sad and devastated by my loss, but I’m very concerned that a road rage incident like this will go unpunished.”

Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.

35 Replies to “Wife Seeks Justice for Triathlete-Teacher Husband Killed on Roadway”

  1. Great article! Thank you for shining a light on this dismissal. This was a reckless driving incident that resulted in a horrific death of a beloved, valuable member of our community who was being careful running in a crosswalk. Ms Mulford pays no consequence? Still out there driving.

      1. Our hearts go out to Christy Clark and her family. There is absolutely no excuse for the DA’s office to have dismissed this case. Based on their lack of convictions, it appears they’re used to taking the path of least resistance (pays the same). If Jamie Mulford had lost her license and been incarcerated for her crime back in 2010, Scott would be alive today. We hope Christy appeals this unfair decision and replaces Richard Welsh with an aggressive and accomplished lawyer -someone who has the ability to fight and win for what is right.

  2. Thank you for covering this. Christy Clark is my niece. The toll of Scott’s senseless loss has weighed heavily on her family. She is truly seeking justice and to make her community safer. It is important to know that our legal system works for us all, no matter what our circumstance are. This fight is to honor Scott’s life and to make some meaningful sense of his death.

  3. That’s just makes me sick in my stomach HOW can a DA or judge dropped a case like this?!?! This innocent man NEEDS justice. Thank you for covering this story.

  4. With a record like that, why was Mulford still on the road? Seems like over and over again the justice system has failed to right this woman. Whether she directly killed Mr Clark or not, it seems she had played a part in once again making the community around her unsafe. Why is this tolerated? Really brings about some concerning questions.

  5. POST NOTICES AROUND HER HOME COMMUNITY. PASS OUT FLYERS AROUND HER HOME COMMUNITY. MAKE HER LIFE DIFFICULT…..MAKE HER “REMEMBER”…..

  6. It’s very concerning that someone who is responsible for a previous accident resulting in the death of a pedestrian related to a DUI is still legally driving and has a history of drunk driving incidents and road rage. It sure makes one question the police and court system who are making decisions that relate to the safety of our citizens.

  7. Thank you for covering this story. It doesn’t make sense that Scott Clark died due to the reckless driving of two women who are not being held accountable. Where’s the justice OCDA?

  8. So outraged that Scott Clark‘s death could be dismissed so easily by our justice system. May justice prevail. Keep fighting, Christy Clark!

    1. What a tragic event. But if Jamie Mulford was found not under the influence, and there were no witnesses to the accident, it’s going to be impossible to wage a successful prosecution against her. Since she was not under the influence, her DUI history is absolutely inadmissible. Sad situation, my heart goes out to his friends and family.

  9. So, a woman who has already killed a man while driving drunk, kills another man while driving under the influence of alcohol (but not technically “intoxicated”) and the DA’s response is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ . Aside from the gross miscarriage of justice for this man and his family, Todd Spitzer is putting the rest of us in danger by allowing this menace to go free. In case Mr. Spitzer wasn’t paying attention to November’s election results, Orange County citizens are watching are elected officials actions very closely and voting accordingly.

  10. This 34-year-old woman has 3 DUI’s which means she has driven drunk many more times than that, she just got caught 3 times. And, now she is directly responsible for two pedestrian deaths. If the charges against this woman are dropped, her behavior is being validated in the public eye. Thanks to family money and influence she hasn’t spent any jail time, either. This is sending a message that money and influence are more important that justice and retribution.

    1. I am so happy that you brought up the magic word “money”. This is actually not a free country if our system can be bought. Spitzer is a career politician who is concerned about staying one. Status quo and protecting donors is not justice!

  11. I’m completely devistated by the proposed dismissal of this case. Makes no sense that Jamie Mulford, a known offender, will just walk away. The prosecutor needs to do their job, and yes, it requires work. The easy way, not the right way, is to dismiss the case. I, like Mrs. Clark, would keep fighting. It’s called justice. I just can’t believe this is happening.

  12. This is a shocking travesty of justice. How can Jamie Nicole Mulford, who has had four prior DUIs and killed TWO innocent men, be allowed to skate the system without consequence? WHY and HOW was this case dismissed? There is a lot more to this story that need exposure.

    1. I’ve heard her uncle is a powerful attorney. He was a teacher at my daughter’s school and was my older daughter’s math teacher. Every kid, teacher, and parent at that school continues to suffer in his absence. He was as special as they come and this devil needs punishment for what she’s done!!!!!

      I’m sure people can’t post because her uncle will come after them for harassment or deformation of character.

  13. Insult on top of death ( not injury)! I live in the same area, too many deaths and major injuries caused by motorists running red lights here and road rage! I am scared to drive through some intersections knowing someone will always run a red and no cops around ever.

  14. This is outrageous. This person has never paid for their crimes. 2 lives lost, isn’t road rage a crime especially if it leads to death? Maybe she just wanted to kill someone that day, regardless of why though she is responsible for a man’s death and should pay the price. I hope the widow also sues her too.

  15. She clearly has never learned. Multiple DUIs and two deaths? It shouldn’t have ever even been considered to let this woman hurt someone again. It’s disturbing that our justice system would put us in danger by dismissing this case. Stupidity OC courts I’m truly disturbed. Smells fishy!

  16. Good for you for reporting this story! Scott Clark was a beloved and valued member of the community for a very long time. His tragic death should be honored more meaningfully than by allowing the driver’s case to be dismissed. Why does she have a license at all? If she hadn’t been allowed to drive after 3 Dui’s this accident would not have happened and Scott’s family would not have suffered this loss. Let’s err on the side of the victim here. It sounds like Jamie Lee Mumford is a threat to all of us. Charges against her must not be dismissed!! Get her off the road!

  17. The system is obviously corrupt. Based on his record, Deputy District Attorney Brian Orue habitually dismisses vehicular homicide cases for “lack of evidence”. A mother and daughter also lost their lives to a reckless drunk driver this New Year’s Eve and Orue was quick to dismiss their case as well. Google his appalling record to see for yourselves. The public should not tolerate this incompetence. RECALL ORUE!

  18. SHOCKING! Mulford wiped out two lives without consequence. Wonder who her third victim will be. Does life matter in Orange County? The DA has set a very dangerous precedence.

  19. Homicidal maniac-road-rager Jamie Mulford must be extremely well-connected since she’s gotten away with 4 DUIs and 2 murders. No justice in OC.

  20. First of all, the case was in fact dismissed. Second, none of you know the evidence. This Deputy District Attorney Brian Orue cannot just dismiss cases at this level unilaterally. The decision must go through a chain of command and this decision did not come overnight but took well over a year. If the DA dismissed the case, knowing what kind of political pressure and outrage will result, it is because they did not believe they could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. It is that simple. NONE of her DUI priors would come in because a defense attorney would argue and a judge would agree that they are relevant to an alleged “road rage.” The evidentiary value would be outweighed by it’s prejudice to the accused. That is the law and I am sure all of you would use every benefit of the law if you were accused. This is very sad for the Clark family, but we live in a country where the Constitution protects the accused not the victim an the reason for that is because we are innocent until proven guilty like any of you would like your husband, wife, son, daughter relative or close friend to be presumed as well.

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