Homeland Security officials were granted a warrant by the Korean Ministry of Justice to extradite a man who fled the United States during his DUI trial 17 years ago. Now 75-years-old, the accused driver is facing conviction for a fatal car accident in Bartlett, Illinois, that injured two people and caused the death of a 43-year-old woman. The Korean man was initially arraigned in October 1996, but he later fled the country and wasn’t apprehended until Dec. 11, 2013.
In 1996, three people were reportedly struggling with a disabled station wagon and attempting to push the vehicle up the street. According to police, the alleged drunk driver was traveling westbound in an Oldsmobile when he rear-ended the sidelined vehicle. Police believed the man was intoxicated, and he is now being held without bond until his April 15 trial.
Reports didn’t include details of the man’s original arraignment. However, authorities likely performed field sobriety tests and took breath or blood samples to gain the most conclusive evidence of his intoxication. Even if the man’s BAC level complied with the state limit, he could still be prosecuted for DUI for consuming any alcohol before causing an accident that involved a death.
Since the incident occurred nearly two decades ago, the deceased woman’s surviving relatives may be most concerned about the accused party being brought to justice. In the immediate aftermath of the car crash, the family likely coped with expensive funeral costs, income loss and property damage. The accident may have led to higher insurance costs and other lasting financial issues. Despite the amount of time that has passed, filing a wrongful death lawsuit may help families gain peace of mind and receive compensation to provide for the deceased person’s children or dependents.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Man Brought From Korea To Face Trial For Fatal DUI After 17 Years On Run“, March 05, 2014