Des Moines

Deadly crash: Mom posts $2 million bail to free Chinese student

Deadly crash: Mom posts $2 million bail to free Chinese student »Play Video
Brenda Gomez, the victim in the deadly hit-and-run crash, is seen in an undated family photo.
SEATTLE - A Chinese student charged with causing a crash that killed one woman and injured four other people last year has been released from King County jail after his family posted his $2 million bail with a cashier's check.

The student, Yichun Xu, 19, allegedly drove a newly purchased Mercedes-Benz at high speeds through residential neighborhoods of Des Moines on Nov. 10 before running a stop sign and crashing into another car.

He pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and other charges on Dec. 6 and was ordered held in the King County jail on $2 million bail. The bail was set at a high amount due to fears that Xu would flee to China if released.

But during a bail hearing on Friday, Xu’s mother posted a cashier’s check for the total amount of the bail, said Ian Goodhew of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Xu was released as soon as the check was verified and was ordered to surrender his passport.

Goodhew said it is rare for defendants to post bail of such a high amount.

According to court documents, on Nov. 10 Xu was driving with four women, ranging from 17- to 19-years-old, in his car. Xu is a Chinese citizen who was visiting the United States for eight weeks to attend a local community college. He had purchased a 2008 Mercedes C300 four days earlier but did not have a valid Washington driver’s license and later told police he had never driven in the United States, investigators said.

Xu was reportedly speeding on 20th Avenue South when he ran a stop sign at South 240th Street and slammed into the driver’s side door of a car that had the right-of-way. According to court documents, damage at the scene revealed Xu was likely “driving at freeway speeds.”

The woman driving the car that Xu struck - Brenda Gomez - was headed to a birthday party with four family members. Gomez suffered a traumatic brain injury and died on Nov. 19.

Gomez's 14-year-old brother, who was also in the car, suffered a traumatic brain injury as well but was not killed. He has undergone at least two surgeries since the crash.

A 14-year-old girl in the car suffered multiple rib fractures and pulmonary bruising. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. Another 14-year-old girl in the car suffered a broken collarbone and a 17-year-old boy suffered soft tissue injuries, according to charging documents.

Xu was taken to Harborview Medical Center after the accident and later was booked into King County Jail.

The four women in Xu’s car suffered only minor injuries. Empty alcohol containers were found in the car but prosecutors believe they were from a party Xu and his friends were at the night before, and are not connected to the crash.

Xu is also charged with three counts of vehicular assault and two counts of reckless endangerment.