K-pop idol Seulong’s fatal traffic accident case submitted to prosecution

Im Seulong (Instagram) 

The Korean police have submitted to the prosecution the case of K-pop boy band 2AM member Im Seulong who hit and killed a pedestrian last Aug. 1 with his car. 

Seulong was driving an SUV at a three-way intersection on Susaek-ro near the Digital Media City subway station in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul at about 11:50 p.m. when a man in his 50s crossed the road at a red light.

CCTV footage showed that the man, who was dressed in black and was holding an umbrella, crossed the road and in just two seconds, he was struck by Seulong’s car. The man tried to swerve his car in order to avoid hitting the man but to no avail. Seulong immediately stopped after hitting him. 

Police said the man crossed the crosswalk at a red light. The victim was taken to a hospital but died. Seulong was found not to be under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred. 

The Seoul Seobu Police Station submitted the case to the prosecution after summoning and investigating Seulong on Aug. 25. 

"After we summoned Lim Seul Ong again and conducted an undisclosed investigation on August 25, we let him go. This case has been transferred to the prosecution. We cannot disclose the specific content of the investigation,” the police said, according to Osen. 

The prosecution will decide on his indictment. Seulong is facing charges of violating South Korea’s Act On Special Cases Concerning the Settlement of Traffic Accidents. 

Under Article 3 of the Act, “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 .” 

The law also provides that “due to traffic of vehicles, a driver who commits a crime by inflicting bodily injury due to occupational or gross negligence of crimes relating to traffic accidents mentioned in paragraph (1) or a crime of Article 151 of the Road Traffic Act shall not be prosecuted against the express will of the victim.”

After the accident, Jellyfish Entertainment, the 33-year-old singer’s agency, said 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,” JTBC Plus reported. 

In May 2011, Big Bang member Daesung was driving a car when he ran over a man who was lying on the ground after his motorcycle hit a lamppost. The victim died from multiple injuries. 

Prosecutors decided in August 2011 to drop the charges for negligent homicide and wrongful death against Daesung for lack of direct evidence to prove he was responsible for the man’s death. They failed to establish if the man was alive shortly before Daesung’s car came.

In July 2011, Daesung and YG Entertainment paid blood money to the victim’s family as financial settlement. Blood money is a legal option for an offender under the Korean legal system to reduce his punishment.

After reaching a settlement, the victim’s family said they hoped that Daesung would not be punished for the crime and that they felt sympathy for the singer.