K-pop artist Im Seulong, 33, of boy band 2AM is under police investigation after he hit and killed a pedestrian, who was reported to be jaywalking, in South Korea on Aug. 1.
According to the police, the car accident happened at about 11:50 p.m. last Saturday on a road in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul.
Seulong was driving an SUV amid heavy rain when he hit a man in his 50s who was crossing at a red light, according to Korean media. The victim was taken to a hospital but died.
The police found that Seulong was not under the influence of alcohol when the accident happened.
In a statement, Jellyfish Entertainment, Seulong’s agency, said “We would like to pray for the salvation of the soul of the victim who passed away in the accident and express our deep condolences to the family of the deceased,” according to JTBC Plus.
It explained that “on August 1, Im Seulong caused a traffic accident due to slippery road conditions while driving. The car he drove collided with a pedestrian crossing the street. Immediately after the accident, Im Seulong took relief measures at the scene, but unfortunately the victim passed away on the way to the hospital.”
“After receiving the investigation at the police station in the right order, Im Seulong was allowed to return home. However, at present, he is suffering a serious shock both physically and mentally. The accurate results of the police investigation have yet to come out, so we cannot disclose details about this incident. We hope you all will understand,” Jellyfish said.
The agency added, “However, we know how painful it is for the bereaved family of the victim so we sincerely apologize to the family. Once again, our condolences go to the bereaved family and may the victim rest in peace.”
Under Korea’s traffic accident law, “a driver of a vehicle who commits a crime provided for in Article 268 of the Criminal Act by reason of a traffic accident shall be punished by imprisonment without prison labor for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 20 million won [about $16,737 or P821,000].”
Article 268, according to the Korea Legislation Research Institute, states that “a person who causes the death or injury of another by occupational or gross negligence, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or by a fine not exceeding 20 million won.”
The investigation will determine if Seulong was negligent, taking also into account that the man was jaywalking at the time.
Korean netizens expressed support to Seulong, saying it was not his fault. Some of the comments, according to Netizen Buzz, are: “He should not have to apologize for this, the fault lies with the person who jaywalked,” “Jaywalking in the rain at night… there’s no way a driver can avoid that” and “you put your life on the line every time you jaywalk. I feel bad for the driver than the pedestrian in this case.”
Seulong debuted in 2AM in 2008. He signed up with Jellyfish Entertainment early this year.