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Mother posts $2M bail for Chinese exchange student charged with vehicular-homicide

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Auburn Fatal CrashSEATTLE — A 19-year-old exchange student from China facing a vehicular-homicide charge was bailed out of jail by his mother, the Seattle Times reported Saturday.

According to the Times, Yichun Xu’s mother produced a cashier’s check for the total amount of his $2 million cash bail. Xu was being held in King County Jail on a charge of vehicular homicide, and three counts of vehicular assault stemming from a Nov. 10 incident that left one driver dead and three passengers wounded.

Ian Goodhew, the deputy chief of staff for the King County Prosecuting Office, told the Times he fears Xu and his mother will flee back to China now that he is free from jail. Xu was ordered to surrender his passport on his release.

“Rarely is a bail of that amount posted,” Goodhew said.

Xu allegedly ran a stop sign and slammed his Mercedes-Benz into a BMW at freeway speeds, killing 25-year-old Brenda Gomez-Zapata. Three of Gomez-Zapata’s family members  were also injured.

Xu did not have an international driver’s license and had limited driving experience in the United States. He was driving at speeds upwards of 70 MPH on a residential street, police said. Xu reportedly tried to pay police $542 at the time of the crash instead of being booked into jail.

Xu attended South Puget Sound Community College.

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18 comments

  • Donald

    The bail should be set higher on people from other countries due to the flight risk. That was done in this case but this guy and his mother can get a phony passport and then they are on their way back to China. Messed up. The bail should of been set at a billion dollars for the flight risk

  • anonimo

    I know brenda’s family, and it is hard to accept that this person is out of jail. Her mom is still in pain suffering her dead. These exchange students have excellent privileges in usa. They should change the rules before they come to this country.

    • unfair and biased

      You are just being a racist… What privilege do they have? Paying taxes and having limited rights & benefits? He's just a kid with rich parents, why does it matter whether his parents are Chinese or American in this case?
      It is an unfortunate incident and I probably don't like the act of the defendant more than you do. But with exchange students a lot of education institutions would have been bankrupted long ago..

  • charlie bronston

    I wonder where the money trail leads to…2 million dollars is a lot of money from a mother sending her kid to the US to attend community college…is this kid's family some sort of Chinese elite, or did the Chinese government fit the bill? we'll never know, they'll be on the first plane they can get.

    • Liang

      His father is the CEO of a leading corporation of tax and accounting service in China, no wonder they can afford the bail. That the boy attend community college doesn't mean they cannot afford tuition for Ivy League, it means this boy doesn't perform well in his study. Many rich people in China send their kids to US regardless of what schools their kids will attend, just for a diploma from an American institution. These kids don't need to pursue academic achievement, because going to college is just gilding; they don't need to worry about finding a job,because their parents will arrange everything for them.

  • Mariko

    Wasn't there something about him being in the country illegally because his student visa papers weren't filled out correctly? What happened to all of that?

    • Bootlegger59

      Well, they most certainly wouldn't want to 'offend' our chinese friends now, would they! It was a kind gesture to assure our far eastern 'friends', that we're only too happy to show them just how politically correct we are. So he skips out and back to china, the only people it hurts are the ones whose family members were killed by this sewer scum who comes from such a barbarous nation, as far as human life is concerned. So, now they will say that his papers were filled out correctly, and that all was well with this thug, who was here so that he could learn all he could, which was probably corporate espionage! Take it back to china and use it against us.

  • Block Watcher

    What an awful crime against an innocent family. I doubt if he'll show for trial. He's probably changed his name to Skip Towne and headed back to China.

  • guest

    there should not have been bail without electronic monitoring on such a flight risk. one must wonder, who pockets the cash when they flee?

  • Me

    In addition to offering a bribe, he holds no driver’s license (international or in china). This is common in china, which has the highest vehicular homicide rate in the world and the highest crash rates. They are wreckless in terms of driving and licensure. Sadly, the stereotype of the “bad Asian driver” rings true in china. Anyway, they obtain new passports through their links to the Chinese government as their families are “civil servants”. That’s how they skip bail, etc.

    It’s really a completely different arena when dealing with a foreign national who has the means to skip town to a state that has no extradition treaty. Their “prior bad acts” or whatever should be only part of the considerations. People will pay any amount of money to avoid jail and death. Money is recoverable, death and time are not.

    He took a life. He must face serious consequences and not be given an opportunity to abscond. On the face of things, he was already given multiple opportunities to act in good faith but did not do so. He should have been held. It’s time to revise some laws.

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