A fugitive who fled the country after allegedly driving under the influence in California and killing a motorcyclist in 2005 has been extradited to Orange County and will face felony charges, according to this recent Los Angeles Times article. According to law enforcement officials, former Hyundai executive, Youn Bum Lee, 41, of South Korea, had been drinking with colleagues at a Korean barbecue restaurant in Garden Grove in October 2005 and consumed more alcohol at a nearby karaoke bar.
Later that night, officials claim that Lee got into a company-owned Hyundai SUV and crashed the vehicle into a concrete barrier on Freeway 55 in Santa Ana. After the crash, Lee left the SUV at the site of the crash with its lights off. Sometime later, Ryan Dallas Cook was riding his motorcycle when he failed to see the crashed SUV, slammed into it, and was killed after being struck by other motorists. Around 24 hours after the accident, Lee boarded a plane to South Korea. Weeks later, Cook’s parents filed a lawsuit against Hyundai Motor America claiming that company officials helped Lee leave the country before he could be questioned by the police.
Susan Kang Schroeder, a spokesman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office, said that Lee faces a variety of charges, including felony gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with injury, and hit-and-run with injury or death. If convicted on all counts, Lee faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in California state prison.
If you or someone you care for is facing DUI charges of any kind, penalties include revocation of driving privileges, steep fines, community service, and lengthy prison terms. The Los Angeles DUI lawyers at Takakjian & Sitkoff have over 60 years of combined legal experience representing clients charged with DUI and DUI-related offenses. Don’t take a chance with your freedom and driving privileges, call the experienced California criminal defense attorneys at Takakjian & Sitkoff today at 888.579.4844!