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Closure for the family of DUI victim


I know that I'm supposed to keep this as a strictly reporting column, but I'm going to bend the rules just a touch here and inject a little bit of personal story amidst this report. 

On October 19th, 2005 Orange-County ska trombonist Ryan Dallas Cook (Dallas) was riding his motorcycle on the Costa Mesa freeway when Hyundai exec Young Bum Lee decided to drive home drunk from a corporate event.  Lee got into a black SUV at night without the headlights on and crashed, tossing Dallas over the gaurd railing onto the other side of the freeway where he was hit by multiple cars and died instantly.  Lee then fled the scene and shortly after, the country.  Airport surveillence footage shows Lee, accompanied by two other Hyundai executives boarding a plane for Seoul, South Korea.

Hyundai Exec: Youn Bum Lee


On December 2, 2008, Lee was arrested and extradited back to the United States facing one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, gross vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence causing bodily injury and hit-and-run causing death.  On November 10, 2009 Lee pled guilty to manslaughter, and was sentenced to nine years in prison on December 7, 2009.

RIP: Ryan Dallas Cook

Dallas was one of two trombone players in the Orange County third-wave ska band Suburban Legends.  He was well known for his crazy stange-antics, running around the stage, pulling acrobatic moves, and jumping onto the shoulders of band-mate and best friend, Brian Robertson.  More than that, Dallas was an amazing and down-to-earth person, and he is greatly missed every day.  I had the privledge and honour to know Ryan Dallas Cook, and his death at the tragic age of 23 is even now incredibly hard to deal with.

It has been a long road for the Cook family to gain closure in the wrongful death of Dallas, and now that it's finally over, we pray that Dallas is watching in on all of the people whom his life affected positively.  Rest In Peace, Dallas.




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