• International student charged in fatal crash makes court appearance

    By: David Ham


    KENT, Wash. - The family of a 25-year-old woman who was killed in a collision in Des Moines is in the midst of negotiating a settlement with the family of the man accused of causing the crash.

    Yichun Xu and his attorney appeared before the court Wednesday at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.

    The Chinese international student is accused of causing a crash that killed 25-year-old Brenda Gomez in November.

    Detectives said Xu was driving his black Mercedes and blew through a stop sign. Gomez was driving her cousins to a birthday party. Three of her cousins were injured, and Gomez suffered brain injuries and later died.

    The Gomez family was noticeably absent from the courtroom. They have been at every hearing before this one.

    "All of the families involved in the accident have decided they want to concentrate on their own healing," said David Nold, attorney for Gomez's family.

    Last month, Xu's mother posted a $2 million bond to free him from jail.

    "He's been back enrolled in school his student Visa got renewed he's trying to best he can under the stress of this event," said Xu's attorney, Scott Leist.

    Because the Gomez family said they are focusing on healing, Nold said they would also not oppose it if Xu's attorney asked for a lower bond.

    "He is going to face justice he's not going anywhere he is here," said Nold.

    The Gomez family is also in the midst of negotiating a settlement on the civil side with Xu's family.

    On Wednesday, the courts approved an order that said if Xu's $2 million bond is reduced, $550,000 of the money would go to the King County Courts.

    "If the bail is reduced then a certain portion of those would be paid into the King County Superior Court to partially compensate the victim’s for restitution," said Nold.

    No trial date for Xu on the criminal side has been set.

    Another court date is set for May 8. 

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