January 14, 2008 / 9:06 AM / 11 years ago

"Pulp Fiction" writer charged after fatal crash

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winning “Pulp Fiction” screenwriter Roger Avary was arrested on Sunday after a fatal car crash northwest of Los Angeles, officials said.

Screenwriter Roger Avary is shown in this police booking mugshot released to Reuters by the Ventura County Sheriffs Department January 14, 2008. Avary, who co-wrote "Pulp Fiction" and "Beowulf", was arrested on January 13, 2008 after a fatal car crash northwest of Los Angeles, officials said. REUTERS/Ventura County Sheriffs Department/Handout

Avary, 42, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, said Capt. Monica McGrath of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.

He was released from jail after posting $50,000 bail, she said in an interview.

The collision occurred in the city of Ojai, 80 miles northwest of Los Angeles, at about 1 a.m.

A passenger in Avary’s car, Andreas Zedini, a 34-year-old native of Italy, died of his injuries at a local hospital, McGrath said. Avary’s wife, Gretchen, 40, was also taken to the hospital with serious injuries after being ejected from the car. Her condition was not immediately known.

Avary co-wrote “Pulp Fiction” with the film’s director, Quentin Tarantino. The crime classic won the screenplay Oscar at the Academy Awards in 1995, and Avary won some notoriety by disclosing to a worldwide audience that “I really have to pee right now.”

The extent of Avary’s contribution to “Pulp Fiction” has long been up for debate, and it tore apart the two former best friends. According to journalist Sharon Waxman’s book “Rebels on the Backlot,” Avary came up with some of the film’s scenes, but Tarantino otherwise downplayed Avary’s involvement.

While Tarantino went on to further fame and fortune, Avary took on lower-profile work rewriting other people’s scripts.

Avary co-wrote and was executive producer of last year’s battlefield epic “Beowulf.”

Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Eric Beech

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