'Pulp' scribe booked on manslaughter charge

Following his weekend arrest on manslaughter and drunk driving charges, screenwriter Roger Avary apologized Monday for the car accident that killed a passenger and seriously injured his wife.

“Roger wishes to publicly convey his heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased,” said a statement released by Avary’s publicist Julie Polkes. “Words cannot express how sorry he is, and this tragic accident will always haunt him.”

Avary was arrested and booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and felony drunken driving following the accident early Sunday morning in Ojai, in which his car spun out of control and slammed into a telephone pole.

Killed in the crash was Andreas Zini, a resident of Italy who was apparently visiting Avary and his wife, according to the Ventura County sheriff’s department.

Firefighters cut Zini from the car and he died several hours later at Ventura County Medical Center.

Avary’s wife Gretchen was ejected from the car and found in the road by sheriff’s deputies. She was taken to Ojai Valley Community Hospital with serious injuries and was expected to survive, authorities said.

A hospital spokesman declined to provide her condition, saying the family did not want the information released.

There was no word Monday on whether passengers were wearing seat belts.

Avary, who is free on $50,000 bail, faces arraignment Friday.

Avary won an Academy Award along with Quentin Tarantino for “Pulp Fiction,” and was also a co-writer of the recent epic “Beowulf.” He directed “Killing Zoe” and “The Rules of Attraction,” among other pics. He and his wife live in Ojai, about 14 miles north of Ventura.

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