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More than 300,000 sign public petition as anger simmers over drunk driver

Public petition on the Blue House website by the proclaimed duaghter of a man in his 50s who died after a drunk driver fatally ran over him Wednesday. (Screen Capture)
Public petition on the Blue House website by the proclaimed duaghter of a man in his 50s who died after a drunk driver fatally ran over him Wednesday. (Screen Capture)
South Koreans are in fury after a drunk driver fatally ran over a man in his 50s who was on his way to deliver fried chicken.

A public petition on the Blue House website uploaded Thursday by someone claiming to be the deceased man’s daughter gained more than 300,000 signatures as of 11 a.m. Friday. Petitions with 200,000 signatures or more are entitled to a response from the Blue House

The writer of the petition asked for severe punishment for the drunk driver, who she said devastated her and her family’s life by killing her father.

“From what I found on the Internet, the drunk offender looked for a lawyer before calling 119, and her passenger had his belt buckle undone,” she wrote. “My father, who is the youngest of seven siblings, is passed away, and my family all of sudden is devastated.”

The petitioner’s father, 54, died in Incheon at 0:55 a.m. Wednesday from being hit by a 33-year-old female driver. The drunk driver’s Mercedes-Benz went over the central demarcation line and directly ran into the motorcycle that the petitioner’s father was riding.

The injured mad was immediately moved to a nearby hospital but was soon pronounced dead. The police found the Benz driver had a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.1 percent, which is enough to revoke her driver’s license.

The petitioner’s father was reportedly making the last fried chicken delivery of the night after hard day of work. The petitioner said her father has always worked hard for his family and his customers.

The police have asked for an arrest warrant for the drunk driver in relation to the case, which will be reviewed Friday. They intend to ask prosecutors to pursue highest level of punishment for her. Sentences for drunk driving were toughened recently under the “Yoon Chang-ho Act.”

The act, which passed in 2018 after a young man named in the bill died after being hit by a drunk driver, makes offenders face at least three years in jail and up to life imprisonment when drunk driving results in death.

The police added they are also reviewing to apply the charge of reckless endangerment for the driver’s passenger.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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