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Wednesday
Oct272010

Criminal Charges Dismissed Against Runaway Lexus Driver

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles County prosecutors have dismissed charges of vehicular manslaughter against a woman whose runaway Lexus caused a fatal crash on an L.A. freeway in 2008.

Unmi Suk Chung was behind the wheel of her Lexus RX 330 when it sped out of control and slammed into a Mercedes car at an off ramp.  Chung's sister-in-law, who was in the back seat of the Lexus, was killed in the crash.

Despite Chung's claims that the Lexus suddenly accelerated on its own and that her brakes failed to stop the vehicle, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged her with gross vehicular manslaughter and felony reckless driving.  If convicted, Chung could have faced a maximum possible sentence of six years and eight months in jail.

However, almost two years after the accident, the D.A.'s office dismissed charges at a pre-trial hearing last week at the Los Angeles County Airport Courthouse.  Chung's attorney, Richard Hutton, says his client was "thrilled" that the case were dismissed.  John Lynch of the L.A. County D.A.'s office said the case did not "appear to warrant continuing the prosecution," citing the fact that Chung was not intoxicated, had no record, and the victim's family did not want the case to proceed.

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