Milton Willis Charged With Gross Vehicular Manslaughter; Felony DUI

Milton Willis

Milton Willis talks to school children in Solana Beach. Photo courtesy

As reported on

VISTA — A well-known big-wave surfer has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of felony DUI in connection with a car crash that killed his passenger last year, authorities said.

A $500,000 arrest warrant has been issued for Milton Willis, 52, of Solana Beach, said Steve Walker, a spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office. The charge carries a sentence of up to 11 years and eight months in prison, Walker said.

Willis’ passenger, Bradley Dillahunty, 24, of Laguna Niguel, died in the early-morning crash June 6 in Del Mar. Authorities said Willis was driving Dillahunty’s Toyota Avalon more than 65 mph in a 25-mph zone when he lost control on Coast Boulevard.

A sheriff’s sergeant said alcohol was believed to be a factor because Willis "had the odor of alcohol on him." Authorities have declined to release the results of Willis’ toxicology tests.

For several years, Willis and his brother, Michael Willis, have run a surfing camp in Del Mar and given motivational talks. The twins wrote a book, "Discover the Greatness in You," and are well-known in the surfing world.