An international college student charged in a fatal car crash is out of the King County Jail after he posted $2 million bail Friday.
Prosecutors said in November, 19-year-old Yichun Xu, a community college student from China, drove through a stop sign in Des Moines.
Xu was driving his Mercedes at a high-rate of speed when he struck another vehicle with four occupants inside. Witnesses estimated Xu was going 70 mph in a 30 mph zone.
The occupants inside the vehicle were injured, but the driver, Brenda Gomez, later died from her injuries.
Xu was charged, but pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide and assault charges. His bail was initially set at $500,000 but was raised to $2 million because he was considered a flight risk.
In January, a judge denied a lower bail.
Xu’s mother presented a cashier’s check for the full $2 million on Friday. If Xu returns to China, the county couldn’t get him back for trial because there is no extradition treaty between the United States and China.
KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Frank Field spoke with David Nold, a lawyer who represents Gomez’s family, and he said it will devastate the family if Xu leaves.
“They appreciate all the prayers,” Nold said. “Because it will take a situation that they can’t make sense of right now and there’ll never be any closure."
One condition of Xu’s release was surrendering his passport.
“His attorneys tell me, and I take them at their word, that he wants to stay and face these charges and do the right thing. I’ve never met the parents, so I can’t speak as to their motives, or what they’re going to do next,” said Nold.
Nold said it’s frustrating to Gomez’s family not knowing Xu’s intentions or what it would do to his family to lose $2 million in bail money if he fled.
“It’s unfathomable to them how someone could walk into jail and pay $2 million, a sum of money that is quantifiable (but) a lot, and then perhaps be gone,” Nold said.